Books Australia

Blame game

28 November 2020 9:00 am

Ah, millennials. Golden children of the Digital Age or dysfunctional, over-educated slackers? Bit of both, says Anne Helen Petersen, although…

Born comics die laughing

7 November 2020 9:00 am

Evolutionary theory is primarily about survival but, as Jonathan Silvertown makes clear in this intriguing book,  as well as having…

Portrait of the piss artist as a young man

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Being the son of the revered John Olsen has often been intriguing, and sometimes difficult. Olsen, 92, is arguably Australia’s…

Anatomy of fiction

15 August 2020 9:00 am

By more than a mile the best book I have read during the pandemic is Tim Finch’s Peace Talks. It…

A darkling plain

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Thirty years ago, the collapse of the Soviet Union and its puppet regimes unleashed widespread celebration, especially among their suppressed…

Base politics

17 July 2020 11:00 pm

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York moved to the lectern. It was the Cow Palace in San Francisco in…

Bedwetter’s lament

11 July 2020 9:00 am

The trouble with political memoirs is that it’s very hard to get the balance right between the book-length version of…

Decency personified

4 July 2020 9:00 am

The life of Paul Ramsay shows that business people don’t have to be ruthless to succeed. Many will find this…

Next year in Jerusalem

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Alex Ryvchin’s book couldn’t possibly have come at a better time. On an almost daily basis, voices opposed to the…

A smaller man

1 May 2020 11:00 pm

Never trust a person who keeps a diary. After all, who keeps a diary other than someone who wants subsequently…

Women’s world

18 April 2020 9:00 am

One of life’s perennial questions is what would the world look like if it was ruled by women. It’s an…

Smith not Mill

11 April 2020 9:00 am

For a long time in this country, conservatism was the political creed that dare not speak its name. The term…

Stone not gathering moss

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

If you are part of that multitude of Australians who fear that our country is drifting backwards – becoming less…

White House gossip

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

When the brilliant American biographer, Robert A. Caro, first approached the task of writing a biography of the 36th President…

Religion of peace?

21 December 2019 9:00 am

This easy-to-read volume of essays, each originally published in the journal of Catholic culture, Annals Australasia, is an important caveat…

Spy who came in from the EU

14 December 2019 9:00 am

I read Mr le Carré’s latest spy novel, Agent Running in the Field last weekend, despite everything. What do I…

John Lennon’s friend imagines

16 November 2019 9:00 am

For several years in the 1950s Peter Jones shared a desk with John Lennon at Quarry Bank High School for…

Quo vadis?

5 October 2019 9:00 am

How did it come to this? When did the constitutional right of the US Senate to ‘advise and consent’ on…

What to do to grinning do-gooders

21 September 2019 9:00 am

In the 1860s, Australian colonies adopted, virtually unaltered, the English Companies Act 1862. Despite initial distrust of this new corporate…

Blainey’s blarney

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Geoffrey Blainey, Australia’s beloved history elder, has written 40 books and his terms like ‘tyranny of distance’ have pervaded our…

Vengeful pygmies

13 July 2019 9:00 am

It says almost everything that needs to be said about Niki Savva’s latest book that its original title was Highway…

Unforgotten person

18 May 2019 9:00 am

A newly-elected Australian Prime Minister was pleased to receive a letter of congratulations from Australia’s longest serving PM, Sir Robert…

Character building

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Having fired off his first challenge in paragraph one (‘Read every word of this book, but don’t believe a word…

Financial eunuch

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Teenagers are normally embarrassed by their mothers. Germaine Greer was particularly so. Elizabeth Kleinhenz in her new biography writes: ‘Germaine…

Into oblivion

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Moribund for about nine years now, Clive James has released his newest transcription of the Grim Reaper’s call. You might…