Non Fiction

Nick Hordern reviews 'Moscow, the Fourth Rome' by Katerina Clark

Nicholas Hordern
Thursday, 07 March 2013

In Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, the hero Robert Jordan, an American fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, receives some advice from Karkov, a Russian ‘journalist’ at the unofficial Soviet headquarters in Madrid.

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A conversation is an interactive exchange usually of a spontaneous nature. Janet Hawley’s essays are a mix of journalistic intention, conversational ruminations, observations, enquiries, and a gentle goading of her subjects about the ‘twin crucibles’ of creativity – the personality of the artist and what occurs in his or her sanctum, the studio. Assumi ...

Christopher Menz reviews 'Michel Roux: The Collection'

Christopher Menz
Thursday, 07 March 2013

Here are two welcome additions to a long list of cookery publications in Australia promoting Gallic cuisine. French or French-style cookery in this country has come a long way since Ted Moloney and Deke Coleman’s charming but slight Oh, for a French Wife! was published by Ure Smith in 1952. Both Michel Roux: The Collection and Diane Holuigue’ ...

Christopher Menz reviews 'Government House Sydney'

Christopher Menz
Thursday, 07 March 2013

Not that many Australian houses lend themselves to being the subject of a 240-page monograph. Whatever their architectural or historical merit, usually there is not enough material to warrant more than a chapter in a larger volume. Our government houses are different: not only do numerous documents and photographs survive in public records, but furnishings sur ...

Ruth Starke's essay: 'Media Don'

Ruth Starke
Thursday, 07 March 2013

It is a hot gusty day in the summer of 1958, the sort of day that melts the tar on the road and brings the red dust down from the north. In the inner-city Adelaide suburb of Norwood, Mario Feleppa, twenty-eight and not long arrived in Australia, is fed up. Not with the heat – he is used to heat back in Italy – but with horses. Specifically, the horses that ...

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Ghost Wife' by Michelle Dicinoski

Jay Daniel Thompson
Wednesday, 06 March 2013

Ghost Wife is a timely text, given the recent debates about same-sex marriage. Michelle Dicinoski writes about travelling to Canada in 2005 to marry her girlfriend, Heather.

The pair met while undertaking postgraduate studies in Queensland. By marrying, they wanted to make a ‘permanent record’ of their relationship. ...

Robyn Williams reviews 'A Little History of Science'

Robyn Williams
Wednesday, 06 March 2013

Did you know that the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space; or that Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3) came from India; or that Descartes thought up letters (a, b, c, and x) for use in algebra; or that William Bateson coined the word ‘genetics’? Did you know that there are five million trillion trillion bacteria on earth – give or take a few? ...

If you are a new arrival, welcome to Australia. You will be living in a country that is stable, prosperous and democratic. You will also be joining a culturally diverse but cohesive society made up of Australians of many backgrounds, united by shared values and responsibilities.

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Amanda McLeod reviews 'Earthmasters' by Clive Hamilton

Amanda McLeod
Tuesday, 05 March 2013

‘No’ is not part of modern consumer life. ‘Yes’ is the catchcry of the market. Despite the best efforts of scientists and activists, it may be too late to phase out fossil fuels and find alternatives to the mass consumerism that is so dependent on them. Human-induced global warming’s tipping point is nigh. There is almost no turning back. Geo-enginee ...

Two photographs from the present book, caught by the British press in 2009, vividly testify both to the fun and to the difficulty of maintaining ancient ritual in the modern world. In the first, a widely grinning Prince Harry, one leg extended in parody of traditional marching style ...

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