Reviewer: Jeff Sparrow

By this author


Culture May 22, 2021

The Forgotten Menzies

What would Bob Menzies make of Scott Morrison? An impossible question, of course, but one raised by Stephen A. Chavura and Greg Melleuish’s new book about the political philosophy of Australia’s longest-serving prime minister. Chavura and Melleuish …

Culture May 08, 2021

Inga Clendinnen: Selected Writings

As this posthumous collection shows, Inga Clendinnen’s faith in the public defined her work. “I … think my readers are as enthralled by the tough issues as I am,” she writes. “ ‘Popular history’ need not mean – must not mean – dumbed-down …

Culture April 16, 2021

Radicals: Remembering the Sixties

“I’m not your fucking Uncle and I’m not a fucking Elder.” Aboriginal activist and historian Gary Foley doesn’t take kindly to being pigeonholed because of his seniority. A similar sentiment informs Radicals: Remembering the Sixties, …

Culture March 13, 2021

Amnesia Road

Not many Australians can write like this. A former academic and editor, Luke Stegemann now lives in country Queensland, where he spends his weekends refereeing remote area boxing matches. If it’s unusual for a cultural critic to be so comfortable in …

Culture February 13, 2021

Land

You’ll know Simon Winchester from The Surgeon of Crowthorne, his mega-selling account of how W. C. Minor helped write the first Oxford English Dictionary while ensconced in an asylum for the criminally insane. That book contained …

Culture October 31, 2020

Living with the Anthropocene

“I can tell our stories. I can bear witness. But I have to be honest. Some days bearing witness doesn’t seem like enough.” That’s novelist and editor Sophie Cunningham in the essay collection Living with the Anthropocene. Her unease highlights …

Culture October 10, 2020

At the Edge of the Solid World

At the Edge of the Solid World begins with the death of a child and then gets much, much darker. As such, it’s not a book for everyone. But it’s a significant literary achievement, nonetheless. In the Swiss Alps, a teacher and his Australian-born …

Culture September 05, 2020

Just Money

If you’re already anxious about the post-pandemic economy, you may not want to read Just Money, Royce Kurmelovs’ genuinely terrifying picture of contemporary indebtedness. But you probably should, nonetheless. Even before Covid-19 maxed …