Jan Zielonka has provided us with an engaging and stimulating diagnosis of the pathologies of the European crisis of liberalism. The prognosis is not great, but there is hope. This short book takes the form of an intergenerational letter to Zielonka’s former mentor, the émigré German liberal ...... (read more)
For a homeless person, home is the street and the moveable blanket or bedroll. Ultimately, the only home remaining is the body. Fiona Wright is not homeless, she has been un-homed by her body’s betrayal. Whether she can ever feel that she fits again is the primary theme of ...... (read more)
In 2014, veteran ABC science broadcaster Robyn Williams was diagnosed with bowel cancer. It was, he reports, his third brush with death, following cardiac arrest in 1988 and bladder cancer in 1991. His description of the experience, including surgical reduction of his gut and rectum and ...... (read more)
Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales’s investigative report from the coalface of tragedy and resilience, is based on solid research and lengthy interviews. Sales, who wants to know the secrets of surviving outrageous fortune, has the journalistic chops to take on the quest. ‘I rely on a particular skill set …... (read more)
Who doesn’t like to read about the Cambridge spies? Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and Kim Philby were all students at Cambridge in the early 1930s when they were converted to communism and later recruited as Soviet spies. The Cambridge Four did decades of ...... (read more)
The third chapter of Axiomatic, ‘History Repeats Itself’, displays Maria Tumarkin’s gifts for threading the subjects of her interviews through personal questions and existential interrogations. Seen through Tumarkin’s eyes, Vanda, an indefatigable community lawyer, fights for her ...... (read more)
In September 2018, NewSouth published a new edition of A Certain Style.
On a chilly evening in 1980, a stylish woman in her early seventies, wheezing slightly from a lifetime’s cigarettes, climbed a staircase just beneath the Harbour Bridge, entered a room full of book editors – young women mostly, university-educated, making their way ...
There is an eerie sameness to addiction memoirs, which tend to follow the same basic structure. In the beginning, there is some immense and unassuageable pain, followed by the discovery of one substance or another that dulls some of that pain. Then comes the dawning realisation ...... (read more)
Barney Zwartz reviews 'Newman College: A history 1918–2018' by Brenda Niall, Josephine Dunin, and Frances O’Neill
Drive along College Crescent, the circular avenue that forms Melbourne University’s northern order, and you will see the series of sedate, handsome university colleges that line the edge: Newman, Queen’s, Ormond, Trinity, plus the newer women’s colleges of St Mary’s, St Hilda’s, and Janet Clarke Hall. The impression today of quiet élitism and learning may be just, but the weathered stone has seen some turbulent times.... (read more)
Simon Caterson reviews 'Missing in Action: Australia’s World War I grave services, an astonishing story of misconduct, fraud and hoaxing' by Marianne van Velzen
Apart from its value as a case study in bureaucratic corruption and incompetence caused by lack of proper oversight, Missing in Action serves as an important reminder that the trauma of Australia’s involvement in World War I did not end with the Armistice. The appalling loss of life ...... (read more)