Non Fiction

Dreaming Too Loud

Frank Bongiorno
Thursday, 16 January 2014

London-based silk Geoffrey Robertson QC is one of Australia’s most celebrated and eloquent commentators. In his new book, he addresses subjects such as injustice to Aborigines, Ned Kelly, and his Australian heroes.

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White Beech

John Thompson
Thursday, 16 January 2014

John Thompson examines Germaine Greer’s sober, meditative, deeply moving account of her efforts to regenerate sixty hectares of degraded rainforest in the Gold Coast hinterland.

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Broken Nation

Marilyn Lake
Thursday, 16 January 2014

Marilyn Lake reviews Joan Beaumont’s magnum opus on Australians in the Great War and lauds it as the book to read amid the tsunami of books on the outbreak of the Great War.

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Wilfred Prest on 'Queen's College the University of Melbourne'

Wilfrid Prest
Thursday, 28 November 2013

Notwithstanding occasional media focus on misbehaving students or senior members, the residential colleges and halls dotted around or about most Australian university campuses keep a low profile. Their influence has undoubtedly declined since the early twentieth century, when as many as one quarter of Melbourne’s enrolled undergraduate population, and a much ...

Michael Crennan reviews the biography of Henry Friendly

Michael Crennan
Thursday, 28 November 2013

Henry Friendly was a judge of the highest reputation – greater than Learned Hand in Justice Scalia’s opinion. His output was prodigious, his legacy unmatched: of his fifty-one clerks, twenty-one (including the present incumbent) became justices of the Supreme Court of the United States; in that Court’s decisions, only Learned Hand was cited more often th ...

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'For the True Believers'

Lyndon Megarrity
Thursday, 28 November 2013
‘Well may we say “God Save the Queen”, because nothing will save the Governor-General.’

Gough Whitlam’s famous words during his impromptu speech after the Dismissal in 1975 remain a potent symbol of the excitements and turbulence of the Whitlam era. As Troy Bramston’s collection of ALP speeches sinc ...

Christopher Allen on Antiquity and the Renaissance

Christopher Allen
Thursday, 28 November 2013

When the intellectuals, writers, and artists of the Renaissance sought a theoretical basis for the new styles they were developing – at a time when the new meant all’antica and the term modern was still coloured by associations with the Middle Ages – they found that ancient sources were relatively abundant in some areas and scarce or non-ex ...

Alexander Howard reviews 'English as a Vocation'

Alexander Howard
Thursday, 28 November 2013

Christopher Hilliard’s meticulously researched and richly detailed English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement opens with a historical anecdote regarding an after-hours, postwar negotiation ‘between literary analysis and popular culture’ undertaken in that most evocative of English holiday destinations: Scarborough. In these opening lines, ...

Ian Donaldson reviews 'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt'

Ian Donaldson
Thursday, 28 November 2013

It was not until the middle years of the nineteenth century, so far as we can tell, that anyone seriously doubted that the man from Stratford-upon-Avon called William Shakespeare had written the plays that for the past two and a half centuries had passed without question under his name. In the early 1850s, however, a private scholar from Connecticut named Deli ...

Gay Bilson reviews 'One Soufflé at a Time'

Gay Bilson
Thursday, 28 November 2013

Not everyone’s father sends his daughter a brace of pheasants while she is studying economics at Cambridge. With a choice of two gas rings on which to cook them, Anne Willan eviscerated and plucked the birds, then used one gas ring to cook a pheasant casserole and the other to make a caramel custard that she ‘steamed over a galvanised tin laundry bucket’. She ...