Reviews

The Unstable Identities of The Caregiver

Kear 3c

Samuel Park’s last novel explores how one person’s sense of self can be absorbed into another’s need. ROSA INOCENCIO SMITH The Atlantic The Caregiver BY SAMUEL PARK SIMON & SCHUSTER Samuel Park’s new novel, The Caregiver, is a study in fragility: that of bodies, of boundaries, and of identity itself. Centering on two relationships—a mother and her daughter, and the daughter and her patient—it explores the complex bonds between people who are linked by the need that one has for the… The Unstable Identities… Read More »

Religious freedom review enshrines right of schools to turn away gay children and teachers

Protek 4d

Religious schools would be guaranteed the right to turn away gay students and teachers under changes to federal anti-discrimination laws recommended by the government’s long-awaited… Jewel Topsfield The Sydney Morning Herald However the report, which is still being debated by cabinet despite being handed to the Coalition four months ago, dismisses the notion religious freedom in Australia is in “imminent peril”, and… The review was commissioned in the wake of last year’s same-sex marriage victory to appease conservative MPs who ... Read More »

Review: ‘Murphy Brown’ Returns, Not for the Better

Merf 1a

When Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) walks back into Phil’s Bar (now run by Tyne Daly as Phil’s sister, Phyllis), the studio audience applauds. Why wouldn’t they? The original “Murphy Brown” was a cultural milestone, and Ms. Bergen’s acid performance as a brilliant, abrasive TV journalist was a… James Poniewozik The New York Times In another episode, Murphy’s old colleague Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough) tells her not to give in to pressure to interview the white nationalist blowhard Ed Shannon (David ... Read More »

The Australian war film Jirga is a lesson in Afghan forgiveness

Gerk 1a

It is cathartic when a war movie takes us far beyond the horror of bullets, bomb and blood into the other side of the battlefield — the emotional impact on individuals. Ehsan Azari Stanizai The Conversation The Australian production Jirga mines the depth of the heartache and guilt experienced by an Australian ex-soldier whose conscience has caught up with his participation in a night raid on a… In doing so, it moves away from run-of-the-mill cinematic depictions of this war, ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

Rezai 1a

Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

The Real Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Stor 4d

The aftermath produced a lost decade for European economies and helped lead to the rise of anti-establishment political movements here and abroad. John Cassidy The New Yorker Audio: Listen to this article. To hear more, download the Audm iPhone app. September 15th marks the tenth anniversary of the demise of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, which presaged the biggest financial crisis and deepest economic recession since the nineteen-thirties. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy, and great swaths of the markets froze, ... Read More »

First Nations dancers are stepping into the void left by Australia’s politicians

Stepi 1a

In the space of a few short weeks, I have seen two world premieres of dance theatre by First Nations artists: Le Dernier Appel (The Last Cry) and plenty serious TALK TALK. Both put front and centre the lived experience of Indigenous peoples at a… Justine Shih Pearson The Conversation Australians are still waiting for a serious political conversation in response to last year’s momentous Uluru Statement from the Heart. This has been topped off, most recently, by the appointment ... Read More »

What’s wrong with Australia’s democracy?

Reme 3c

Kevin Bain reviews three publications offering diverse perspectives of what is ailing Australia and what should be done. Kevin Bain IA THESE THREE BOOKS give a platform for a diverse bunch of Australian commentators, activists, politicians, system operatives and academics. Some drill down on functional aspects, others reflect on populism, fear of what might be coming, visions of something better and change strategies. Naturally, diagnosis and remedy go together but the… Hopefully, readers will look at these books and find a… What’s ... Read More »

‘Sword and Scimitar’ Offers In-Depth Study of Landmark Battles Between Islam and the West

Mef 2b

..Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman recently interviewed Raymond Ibrahim, formerly the associate director of the Forum and currently the Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow. By Raymond Ibrahim Middle East Forum Ibrahim’s new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West—a featured selection of the History Book Club and current best seller in several Amazon categories—was released earlier this week and is… ‘Sword and Scimitar… Read More »

Book Review: Behrouz Boochani’s unsparing look at the brutality of Manus Island

Psel 1a

It is a matter of wonder that Behrouz Boochani was able to write No Friend but the Mountains at all. Alex Reilly The Conversation He did so while in Manus prison, using text messages in Farsi on smuggled mobile phones. Egyptian and Australian academic Omid Tofighian worked closely with Boochani to translate the text into English. In a detailed introduction to the book, Tofighian explains that Boochani’s writing contributes to a Kurdish literary tradition. He describes his style as “horror ... Read More »

Friday essay: where is the Great Australian Opera?

Fry 2b

In 1986, the Adelaide Festival staged an operatic adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning writer Patrick White’s 1957 novel Voss, a pivotal work in the Australian literary canon. Michael Halliwell The Conversation The opera, with music by a leading figure of the classical music avant-garde, Richard Meale, and libretto by acclaimed novelist and poet, David Malouf, was conceived in the period leading up to the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988. It certainly tapped into the zeitgeist. The 1980s saw increased questioning of the ... Read More »

Europe Needs Its Own Charles de Gaulle

Gen, Charles de Gaulle leads a triumphant procession down Champs-Elysees as part of the celebration of the liberation of Paris. To the right of de Gaulle is General Jacques-Philippe Leclerc, Commander of the French Armored Division. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

There’s nothing wrong with today’s European Union that France’s legendary 20th-century leader didn’t see coming—and didn’t try to fix when he had the chance. Βy Bruno Maçães FP Julian Jackson’s new biography of Charles de Gaulle is a gripping and enlightening reflection on political power and its mysteries. The book fulfills the minimum requirements, of course, by recounting the major events of de Gaulle’s life: his heroic service in World War I, his prescient warnings in the interwar years about ... Read More »

Acute Misfortune first-look review – Adam Cullen biopic is an enthralling, complex triumph

Cul 9i

With a brilliant performance by Daniel Henshall, this hauntingly poetic film asks if we celebrate the wrong kind of people Luke Backmaster The Guardian Does Australia celebrate the wrong kind of people, and the wrong kind of art? This question bounced around my mind for days after watching Acute Misfortune – a beautifully made and intensely thoughtful portrait of the life of controversial Archibald-winning painter Adam Cullen, based on the journalist and Saturday Paper editor Erik Jensen’s wild and compelling ... Read More »

Book Review: Lost Bastards, A Story of Honor, Courage and Redemption

Tsar 2b

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s the Korean Conflict was the most challenging aspect of American history to understand, even with a father who was a decorated veteran of that conflict. Tsarizm Father would not infrequently reminisce about his buddies with him there, yet was not detailed or talkative about battles or events he witnessed in other Korean locales. Now my dad is gone, yet a growing bond and understanding of his past are becoming tangible as I let ... Read More »

An Autopsy: Why Liberalism Failed

Urx 6f

To hear a number of liberals themselves tell it, the United States has already abandoned liberalism—at least until the 2020 election returns history to its right path. Daniel McCarthy The National Interest Today, liberalism appears to be dying in much the same way that Soviet Communism did a generation ago. It is collapsing on its periphery, shedding its colonies and facing a crisis of faith at home. History has gone into reverse in the realm of the old Warsaw Pact, ... Read More »

Film Review: Together Apart (2018) by Maren Wickwire

Trep 3c

“Now the time has come to leave you” Ever since we have entered what might just be one of the final stages of globalization, with the rise of digitization, especially through social media and the omnipresence of online technology, people, companies, politicians and… Rouven Linnarz AMP Interconnectedness goes hand in hand with a new concept of work and of the worker as well, all of which boils down to the increasing importance of transnationalism, according to Management Practice Professor Lynda ... Read More »