Flat White

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Why the history wars matter

In a widely-publicised incident, two attention-seekers from the far-right Patriot Blue group harassed Senator Sam Dastyari in a Melbourne pub…

18 Nov 2017

Business/Robbery etc

It’s a festering boil on the backside of progress, but no government will lance this offensive double of PM Keating’s…

18 Nov 2017

Danby vs the ABC

You’d think that, with its $1 billion budget, the ABC could handle a little criticism. Not so, as Melbourne Ports…

18 Nov 2017

Can rotten people create great art?

Resolving the dichotomy between a work of art, and the artist who created it, has never been more urgent or…

18 Nov 2017

A teacher tweets

A high-tech revolution is taking place in the world of teaching, but it’s not about AI or virtual reality or…

11 Nov 2017

Climate games

Who do you suppose wrote this? ‘The changing climate is causing great damage to people and planet right now, and…

11 Nov 2017

Even worse in WA

We all know that the Liberal party MPs are in a world of pain. The polls are diabolical. Political death…

11 Nov 2017

Fellow citizens

The High Court’s decision last month to disqualify five federal parliamentarians for being dual citizens represents the worst excesses of…

11 Nov 2017

Helen Sherman

This year sees the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi, a pioneer of opera and a crucial transitional…

18 Nov 2017

Jan de Bray “The governors of the Guild of St Luke, Haarlem” 1675

The Dutch Republic in the 17th century was surprisingly exciting and is now known as the Dutch Golden Age. Newly…

11 Nov 2017

Michelle de Kretser

A multi-award winner, Michelle de Kretser has just published her fifth novel, The Life to Come. Born in Sri Lanka,…

4 Nov 2017

Rachel Podger

The Enlightenment saw orthodoxies challenged and the emergence of radical ideas throughout the latter half of the 18th century. That…

28 Oct 2017

Despite everything, America is beautiful — especially at West Point

What is left to say after the church shooting in the Home of the Depraved? Those killed in Texas included…

18 Nov 2017

Was there pleasure at Passchendaele?

At ten to eleven we filed outside the church and assembled in the graveyard around a small cenotaph commemorating the…

18 Nov 2017

Life is tough at the bottom of the equality heap

The incident I am about to recount I make no judgment about, other than that I believe it tells us…

18 Nov 2017

It’s a jungle in there, Stanley

Crikey Moses! Stanley Johnson has been cast as the token pensioner in the new series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me…

18 Nov 2017

More books of the year

Daniel Swift I spent too much of this (and last) year reading anaemic updatings of Shakespeare plays: pale novels which…

18 Nov 2017

How can I prevent my husband from burning all my post?

If you don’t yet watch Gogglebox on Channel 4, start doing so now. Far from making you despise our couch-potato…

18 Nov 2017

Holy mackerel! Civilisation begins with fishing

Fish. Slippery, mysterious creatures. They are mysterious because of where they live, in vast waters, and because they elude the…

18 Nov 2017

Sex and sycophancy at Rolling Stone

Many moons ago, I worked at the New Musical Express magazine, which transformed me from virgin schoolgirl to the fabulous…

18 Nov 2017

The great Tudor catfight

Apart from glorying in a memorable name, Lettice Knollys has chiefly been known for her connections — with her second…

18 Nov 2017

The 67 words that ensured endless bloodshed

If books about the Israeli-Arab conflict were building blocks, the Palestinians would have their own state already and then some.…

18 Nov 2017

Horatio Clare breaks the ice with the taciturn Finns

In this slim travel book Horatio Clare voyages as a guest on the Finnish icebreaker Otso (Bear), ‘mostly in darkness,…

18 Nov 2017

Menus on the wild side

The terroir of the Kentish coast is faultlessly represented in The Sportsman (Phaidon, £29.95), a book of recipes from an…

18 Nov 2017

Susie Boyt neatly skewers the self-help trends

Grief is not being able to eat a small boiled egg. ‘Could you face an egg?’ the widowed Jean asks…

18 Nov 2017

More menace – and magic – on the moors

Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney was one of the surprise stand-outs of last year, and a worthy winner of the…

18 Nov 2017

Ted Lewis: the great British crime writer you’ve never heard of

If you search Google Images for Ted Lewis, the results show an American jazz-age band-leader in a battered top hat,…

18 Nov 2017

Books of the year

A.N. Wilson Elmet by Fiona Mozley (John Murray, £10.99). It is difficult to convey the full horror of this spellbinding…

11 Nov 2017