Reviews

Solidarity reviews books, mags, movies, gigs, exhibitions...

New sinews of working class power

American socialist Kim Moody’s important new book on the restructuring of capital in the past four decades argues that the working class, far from disappearing, has renewed potential power, writes Mark L Thomas.

Dangerous, hackneyed rubbish: don’t watch Romper Stomper

There is a lot wrong with the new adaptation of Romper Stomper, but the worst part is its fanciful and dangerous representation of anti-fascists, and Muslim and African youths.

The hidden history of the disability rights movement

Defiant Lives, a documentary by Australian filmmaker Sarah Barton, charts the history of a relatively unknown struggle against oppression: the disability rights movement.

Dissecting the moral panic over Safe Schools

Benjamin Law’s Quarterly Essay “Moral Panic 101” is a timely dissection of the 2016 backlash against the Safe Schools program, the non-compulsory set of resources that schools could use to progress toward eliminating LGBTI school bullying.

Don’t let the bastards grind you down

The Handmaid’s Tale is dystopian TV with great timing. A story of women’s oppression and state violence, it presents as a powerful warning—and a call to arms—against political complacency in the Trump era.

Temporary migration in Australia under the microscope

Peter Mares’ book, published mid-last year, argues there has been a significant shift towards temporary visas away from permanent migration in Australia. He sets out to uncover the impact on temporary migrants, who can go years living in uncertainty without the rights held by other workers.

Fossil fuelled capitalism pushing Earth system into unknown

Ian Angus’ new book Facing the Anthropocene will aid anyone who wants to fight governments that put profit before planet. It will serve as an introduction for many activists to the scientific concept of the Anthropocene—a new geological era that has no analogue in the Earth’s history.

Imperialism in the Pacific: Does the US want war on china?

John Pilger’s new film exposes the ruthless US military buildup against China, but also refuses to let the Chinese government off the hook, writes Mark Gillespie

SBS documents racism in Australia that isn’t fading away

Journalist Ray Martin’s documentary, part of SBS’s “Face up to Racism” week, exposes the racism of everyday life in Australia. But it fails to target the source of racism in Australia in government and major institutions, and show how we can fight it.

Moonlight, a black gay film in hiding from itself

Ffor all the accolades and praise it has received so far, there really isn’t that much to Moonlight. One Guardian review proclaims “Moonlight portrays black gay life in its joy, sadness and complexity”. It’s hard to agree.

Murder at Myall Creek—whitewashing the real history of the massacre

Because there were two trials of the men responsible for the Myall Creek massacre, it is perhaps the most well documented atrocity in the long, genocidal war against Aboriginal people that stretched into the 20th century.

Ford exposes a sexist society, but how do we fight it?

Feminist and media personality Clementine Ford’s first book Fight Like a Girl has gained enormous attention since its publication in October.

Instrument of power: How Mitchell’s Australian shaped a ruling class agenda

It’s often said that journalism is the first rough draft of history. But when a book is by a very senior Murdoch journalist, you...

‘Poofter bashing’ was a sport, and police were in the game

A swathe of murders rocked the LGBT community in Sydney in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. So it was encouraging when SBS announced a series, Deep Water, focusing on the killings. The drama, however, is extremely disappointing.

The Boer War—Australian atrocities for empire

The hellholes on Manus Island and Nauru can trace their lineage from Australia’s participation in the world’s first concentration camps—more than 100 years ago on the South African veldt.

Lessons from women’s liberation in the US

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, originally released in 2014, has played to dozens of sold out screenings in Australia, and is now streaming on Netflix.

Only traces on show of Rivera and Kahlo’s revolutionary art

Anyone who has heard of Diego Rivera’s stunning and controversial murals, or of Frida Kahlo’s intense explorations of oppression and sexuality will want to see the Art Gallery of NSW exhibition featuring the two Mexican artists.

Exposing a racist history but conflicted on solutions for today

Stan Grant’s book is a memoir, a conflicted memoir that sometimes reads like he is talking to himself, as much as he is talking to his country.

Must see insight into the reality of offshore detention

Chasing Asylum provides a powerful and emotional look at the human impact of Australia’s cruelty to refugees.

Spotlight: powerful expose of elite’s collusion in Church abuse

The film Spotlight is a true story about the Boston Globe newspaper’s investigative reporting team and its campaign in 2001 to uncover widespread, systemic child abuse by Catholic priests in Massachusetts.

Inside the banking scam that produced a global crash

The Big Short blows the whistle on the catastrophe and madness of a system run by bankers and profiteers.

There’s no Cowspiracy—fossil fuels are the main climate threat

Al Gore has gone vegan and actor Leonardo Di Caprio has thrown his name behind a new film, Cowspiracy, which suggests that all we have to do to stop climate change is stop eating meat. Is that really all there is to it?
99 homes

Foreclosed futures: the brutality of US crisis in 99 Homes

In her book A Dream Foreclosed, Laura Gottesdiener calls the foreclosures and evictions of millions of American households since the start of the financial...

Klein film foregrounds fight for the climate, but skirts what we’re up against

This Changes Everything was screened around the world in the lead up to December’s climate summit in Paris to promote the People’s Climate March. The focus of the film is the front-line struggles around the world against fossil fuel expansion and exploitation.

Understanding the rise and fall of Syriza

Through all the twists and turns of the last six months, Kevin Ovenden has been a key source of English-language updates on the Syriza government and events taking place in Greece. Now he has produced one of the first detailed accounts of the events that made the radical left’s rise to government possible, and Syriza’s rapid capitulation to EU-imposed austerity.

Holding the Man: Life beyond homophobia

Though Holding the Man is a tragic tale, it’s also a story of hope and pride. The film is based on the play adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s 1994 memoir of the same name.

Gayby Baby: The kids are alright

The furore over schools screening Gayby Baby has made one thing clear. If it were up to the vast majority of us, we would shake off the idiocy of homophobia and move right along.

More blood won’t solve the Middle East crisis

Former Australian army officer David Kilcullen has become a widely cited establishment expert on counter-terrorism. A hired gun for western imperialism, Kilcullen likes to present himself as the thinking person’s warmonger.

Boundless Plains—but not for sharing

Ian Rintoul looks at Across the Seas, a new book on the history of Australia’s response to asylum seekers and finds a disturbing continuity with the racism of today

More than a Score—Lessons from a teacher rebellion

Lucy Honan looks at a new book on the growing rebellion against standardised testing and the cuts to public education in the US

Hell-Bent on slaughter for empire: Australia in WWI

On the eve of the outbreak of World War I, the British Cabinet was deeply divided. While PM Herbert Asquith was for war against Germany, a large proportion of the Cabinet members were opposed.

Selma a reminder of the justice still to be won

In official US history, the civil rights movement has been emptied it of its radical content. Martin Luther King now gets a national holiday...

Workers and Egypt’s unfinished counter-revolution

If you want to understand the social processes and economic contradictions which led to the Egyptian revolution in 2011, read this book. It also explains why the military is back in charge and waging a counter-revolution, but never suggests this was the inevitable outcome.

Sickening piece of propaganda for US power

It was incredibly hard to watch American Sniper. The prospect of a two-hour long justification—or, more accurately, glorification—of the Iraq war was not particularly exciting.

‘The people who help asylum seekers the most are people smugglers’

Confessions of a People-Smuggler is a confronting, and revealing book. Dawood Amiri, a Hazara, tells his story of fleeing from the Taliban’s targeted killings in Quetta in Pakistan, to getting involved in people smuggling in Indonesia to fund his own trip to Australia by boat.

Backing bloodshed a long Labor tradition

Bill Shorten’s uncritical support for Tony Abbott’s renewed war in Iraq has handed the Liberals the political initiative and horrified many Labor voters. But his unquestioning approval of the rush to war has deep precedents in the ALP tradition.

Climate action requires challenging capitalism

Naomi Klein’s new book is a welcome intervention into climate politics. There is a hunger for serious responses to climate change. Over 2000 people turned up to Klein’s book launch in London.

Not a Class Act: McKew joins the education wars

Maxine McKew’s Class Act is sub-headed “Ending the Education Wars”. But it’s actually another shot in the war against teachers and poor, working class...

Inspiring story shows how solidarity breaks down divisions

Pride is the brilliant and true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a solidarity group set up to raise money for British miners during their historic strike of 1984-1985.

Exposing the phoney ‘deaths at sea’ argument

There is a strong sense of déjà vu for refugee rights activists. Many of the battles waged against the Howard government, like opposing long-term...

An outsider in his own country

Charlie’s country is a beautifully shot and brutally honest portrayal of life under apartheid in the Northern Territory.

Files that give a glimpse of what ASIO was up to

Meredith Burgmann’s new book Dirty Secrets brings together chapters from left activists and other well known Australians written after accessing their own files.

Racism—just a laughing matter in Jonah from Tonga

Award-winning comedian Chris Lilley is back with six-part “mockumentary”, Jonah From Tonga, following the life of Year 9 student Jonah Takalua. But Jonah from Tonga is a racist travesty.

Witness to the torture on Nauru

Mark Isaacs spent almost a year as a Salvation Army worker on Nauru. The Undesirables is his compelling firsthand account of the horror, injustice and disaster of offshore detention.

Hitchens on trial: Islam, religion and the left

Richard Seymour’s latest book Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens exposes one of the most celebrated public intellectuals of the last 30 years.

Full savagery of black slavery captured on film

Based on the life of Solomon Northup, published as a book in 1853, Twelve Years a Slave is a serious attempt to deal with the substance of slavery.

Mary and Mohammad both in the same boat

Heather Kirkpatrick's documentary, Mary Meets Mohammad, captures two worlds colliding in “Australia’s least multicultural town” of Pontville, where Tasmania’s first refugee detention centre was opened in mid-2011.

Legally Brown—not much to laugh at

Legally Brown, SBS One

Inside the world of the corporate vultures

Antony Loewenstein’s latest book explores the corrupt and destructive alliances between governments and multi-national corporations. Loewenstein labels this vulture capitalism, where unaccountable corporations are...

Undesirable alien: Zuzenko and the early days of the Communist Party of Australia

Undesirable:  Captain Zuzenko and the workers of Australia and the world Kevin Windle, Australian Scholarly Press $39.95 RRP Alexander Zuzenko arrived in Brisbane in 1911, exiled after...

Night Games: An apology for football rape

Night Games Anna Krien Penguin, $29.95 Anna Krien has achieved something quite remarkable with her terrible new book, Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport. She set out to...

Latin America’s new left governments—on the road to socialism?

Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions By Roger Burbach, Michael Fox and Federico Fuentes Zed Books $34.95 The new millennium has seen the rise of new left governments across...

An apology for American wars and racism

The Reluctant Fundamentalist Directed by Mira Nair Coming to DVD Mira Nair’s film The Reluctant Fundamentalist is particularly outrageous viewing in light of the racist backlash to...

Weather Underground: dead end strategy for fighting US power

The Company You Keep Directed by Robert Redford In cinemas now The political commotion of the late 1960s and early ‘70s gave rise to many radical organisations,...

Marx’s theory of alienation: A world where workers have no control

Alienation: an introduction to Marx’s theory by Dan Swain Bookmarks This useful little book provides a very good introduction to Marx’s theory of alienation. For Marxists, the...

Dead Wrong: Latham’s recipe for killing what’s left of Labor

“Not dead yet: Labor’s post-left future” Quarterly Essay 49 By Mark Latham, Black Inc $19.99 Former leader of the Labor Party, Mark Latham, has made a...

Understanding the economic crisis: putting profit rates at the centre

The Failure of Capitalist Production By Andrew Kliman, Pluto Press $39.95 Since 2007 the world economy has faced its most serious crisis since the 1930s. Its...

World War II—people’s war or class war?

A People’s History of the Second World War By Donny Gluckstein Pluto Press $35 from Solidarity Donny Gluckstein’s A People’s History of the Second World War illuminates a...

Fighting the market in schools: lessons from US teachers

The Future of Our Schools Lois Weiner Haymarket Books $24 The nauseating consensus between Gillard and the Liberal premiers over education policy, where they all agree that...

Debating a one state solution for Palestine

After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine Edited by Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor Saqi Books In their collection of essays After Zionism editors Antony Loewenstein...

Mythologising Lincoln’s opposition to slavery

Lincoln Directed by Steven Spielberg In cinemas now Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a fantastically rendered account of the passage of the 13th Constitutional Amendment which outlawed slavery...

The myths behind Zionism’s claim to Palestine

The Invention of the Jewish People By Shlomo Sand Verso, $25 “Zionism is the Jewish national movement of rebirth and renewal in the land of Israel—the historical...

Argo: flawlessly reproducing US propaganda on Iran

Argo, Ben Affleck’s gripping, highly entertaining and commercially successful thriller, depicts a little-known episode within the infamous 444-day hostage crisis that followed...

Chomsky’s “Occupy” reflects the good and the bad

Occupy By Noam Chomsky $9.95, Penguin Occupy by Noam Chomsky is the first of the Zuccotti Park Press/Occupied Media Pamphlet Series produced by the US Occupy movement....

Sexual liberation and the politics of pornography

Money Shot: A Journey into Porn and Censorship By Jeff Sparrow $29.95, Scribe The left is tangled up in knots over the politics of pornography. Left-wing academics...

The Casual Vacancy exposes middle class prejudice

The Casual Vacancy J.K Rowling Little Brown and Company $39.95 (Hardback) It may not be as “socialist” as Britain’s Daily Mail thinks, but JK Rowling’s new novel lays...

Go Back shows (again) that we can challenge ideas

Go Back To Where You Came From season two was filmed in early 2012, but the timing of its showing, two weeks after federal...

The Sapphires: radical history shines strong amidst the glitz and glamour

The Sapphires Directed by Wayne Blair In cinemas now “Soul music is about loss. And they haven’t given up. So every note that passes through your lips...

1835—False hopes in fair governments won’t win Aboriginal rights

1835: The founding of Melbourne and the conquest of Australia By James Boyce $44.95, Black Inc 1835 was the year that Tasmanian pastoralists, hungry to expand their...

Telling the story of socialist refugees who resisted Hitler

All That I Am By Anna Funder Penguin, $29.95 All That I Am is a dizzying (and compulsory) read for the left-wing activist. Anna Funder’s novel reaches...

Australian racism explored, but not explained

Dumb, Drunk and Racist A Cordell Jigsaw Production ABC 2, Wednesdays at 9.30pm “All they want to do is deny it on TV—‘we have no racism’—hello! Come...

Freud and Jung’s debates take centre stage

A Dangerous Method Directed by David Cronenberg Available on DVD soon Dangerous Method is a provocative film that depicts the intellectual birth, personal dilemmas and much speculated-upon...

Can’t pay, won’t pay: debating solutions to Europe’s debt

Crisis in the Eurozone Edited by Costas Lapvitsas Verso Books $29.95 The debt crisis in the eurozone has become the most glaring problem facing global capitalism. Across the world...

Clicking off everywhere? Social media and social movements

Why it’s kicking off everywhere: the new global revolutions By Paul Mason Verso Books RRP $27.95 2011 was a phenomenal year of protest and resistance. From the revolutions...

Tweetin’ about a revolution

Revolution 2.0: The power of the people is greater than the people in power By Wael Ghonim Fourth Estate RRP $29.95 Wael Ghonim is a Google marketing manager...

Debating ideas to grow the left’s influence on politics

Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left Edited by Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow Melbourne University Publishing $27.99 Left Turn, according to editors Antony Loewenstein and Jeff...

Alex Mitchell: Trotskyist with some stories to tell

Come the Revolution: A memoir By Alex Mitchell, NewSouth Publishing $39.95 Alex Mitchell’s media career spanned the British Sunday Times, work under a young Rupert Murdoch...

Resisting Capitol in The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Directed by Gary Ross In cinemas now The Hunger Games is the latest addition to a string of political Hollywood films produced over the last...

The Mad Square: Revolution and reaction in Weimar Germany

Mad Square Modernity in German Art 1910-1937, formerly at Melbourne NGV “A dissolution of the social order was expected by the hour” said the German Minister...

Rebuilding fighting unions: Lessons from the US

The Civil wars in U.S. Labor: Birth of a New Workers’ Movement or Death Throes of the Old? By Steve Early, Haymarket Books, $24.95 The “organising...

Weekend: Honest depiction of homophobia in everyday life

Weekend Directed by Andrew Haigh Out now, selected release WEEKEND IS a beautiful and sad film about same-sex love. The most impressive and unique thing about this...

Thatcher’s real legacy: rule for the rich

The Iron Lady Directed by Phyllida Lloyd In cinemas now Margaret Thatcher was a ruling class warrior whose policies created record unemployment and misery in Britain. Thatcher’s...

The need for an anatomy of the trade union bureaucracy

Review: We Built This Country By Humphrey McQueen, Ginninderra Press, $30 I found Humphrey McQueen’s second instalment of his trilogy on the building industry disappointing. And...

Marxism and anarchism

Anarchist and autonomist ideas have influenced many recent movements, including Occupy. Lachlan Marshall takes a look at a new booklet that weighs up their...

Dissecting Murdoch’s hold on the news

Review: Quarterly Essay 43 “Bad News”, by Robert Manne, Black Inc, $19.95 Academic Robert Manne believes that Rupert Murdoch’s Australian media empire should be broken up,...

Tony Cliff: a revolutionary thinker

Tony Cliff A Marxist For His Time Bookmarks, $30, available from Solidarity TONY CLIFF was born in 1917, five months before the October revolution in Russia that...

The unknown Mozart

Mozart’s Sister Directed by Rene Feret In cinemas now Mozart’s Sister is a French film that tells the overlooked story of Maria Anna Walburga Ignatius Mozart, or...

Telling glimpse into Tamil Tigers’ doomed route to national liberation

Tamil Tigress By Niromi de Soyza Allen & Unwin, $32.99 Tamil Tigress is the memoir of Niromi de Soyza, who in 1987, at the age of 17,...

Nationalist myths of Australia’s war in the Pacific

Australia’s Pacific War: Challenging a National Myth By Tom O’Lincoln, Interventions $20.00 As Tom O’Lincoln’s new book points out, WWII is held up as a “good...

Nagasaki bombing: a war crime to boost US power

Nagasaki: the massacre of the innocent and unknowing, by Craig Collie, Allen and Unwin, $32.99 Hiroshima Day, August 4, is an established part of the...

Sexism, psychology and pseudo-science

Review: Delusions of Gender By Cordelia Fine, Allen and Unwin, $29.99 In Delusions of Gender, neuro-scientist Cordelia Fine takes an axe to the drivel of...

Smoke bombs, sit-ins and sixties’ student radicalism at Monash

Review: All Along the Watchtower, by Michael Hyde, The Vulgar Press, $32.95. With this memoir, Michael Hyde opens us up to the world of 1960s...

Exploring Stephen Jay Gould’s ideas on science and evolution

The Science and Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould By Richard York and Brett Clark, Monthly Review Press $16.95 Stephen Jay Gould was one of the most important...

A proud history of Aboriginal struggle on display

From Little Things Big Things Grow Exhibtion developed by National Museum of Australia, touring nationally see website for details  From Little Things Big Things Grow gives...

Immigration Nation: Probing Australia’s racist roots

Mark Goudkamp takes a look at the SBS series Immigration Nation and its history of the White Australia policy SBS’s Immigration Nation is an informative...

Percy Brookfield: MP who used parliament to agitate and organise

The Best Hated Man in Australia: The Life and Death of Percy Brookfield 1875-1921 By Paul Robert Adams, Puncher and Wattmann, $34 In a country where...

Asking why Labor stands for nothing

Review article: Power Crisis, by Rodney Cavalier, Cambridge University Press, $34.99 and All That’s Left: What Labor Should Stand For, Edited by Nick Dyrenfurth and...

Competition, sexism and rich kids rule in Facebook film

Review: The Social Network Directed by David Fincher, in cinemas now The Social Network traces the origin of the online social networking website Facebook from its...

The Pacific Solution: never again!

Review: The Pacific Solution By Susan Metcalfe, Australian Scholarly Publishing, $24.95 The recent decision by the High Court in favour of two Tamil asylum seekers (see...

Understanding redneck America

Rainbow Pie: a redneck memoir By Joe Bageant Scribe, $35 All too often the word “redneck” brings up connotations of slack-jawed yokels, wilfully uneducated in everything other...

Exposing raunch culture and the new sexism

Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism By Natasha Walter Virago, $35 Living Dolls is a compelling must-read for all those interested in understanding sexism today. Through interviews...

Equal love, equal rights: rediscovering the red in the rainbow

Amy Thomas reviews Hannah Dee’s The Red in the Rainbow, an essential look at why fighting homophobia means fighting the system Since the federal election...

Dispelling the modern ‘Malthus myth’

Review: Peoplequake by Fred Pearce Random House, $32.95 The resurgence in overpopulation fears—the idea that excessive population is the cause of ecological destruction and that we...

Working class heroes were made in Dagenham

Review: Made in Dagenham, directed by Nigel Cole In cinemas October 28 It's 1968 and 187 female machinists at the huge Ford Dagenham car plant in...

Spying eyes: ASIO and the Communist Party

Writing a four-generation history of a family intimately linked with the history of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) is not an easy task,...

James Hardie: The Killer Company exposed

Review: Killer Company By Matt Peacock, ABC Books, $35.00 In 1898 Britian’s Chief Inspector of Factories reported to Parliament about the “evil effects of asbestos dust”....

Goodbye to all that?

Review: Goodbye to all that: The failure  of neoliberalism and the urgency of change Edited by David McKnight and Robert Manne, Black Inc, $32.95 You can ask...

Anzac—a new front in the history wars

Review: What’s Wrong with Anzac? The Militarisation of Australian History Edited byMarilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds, University of New South Wales Press, $29.95 As our stomachs...

Refugee policy is the real crime

Review: Border Crimes By Michael Grewcock, The Federation Press, $49.95 With the defeat of the Howard Government in 2007 many assumed the dark days of the...

Glorifying life as a US solider in occupied Iraq

Review: The Hurt Locker Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, In cinemas now The Hurt Locker is a violent, politically shallow and confusing film. The film makers claim...

Defending Stalin does socialism no favours

Review: The Idea of Communism By Tariq Ali, University of Chicago Press, $22.95 More like a long pamphlet than a book, The Idea of Communism, the first...

Challenging portrayal of life at the bottom

Precious Directed by Lee Daniels, In cinemas now Watching Precious is a harrowing experience. Director Lee Daniels milks every dramatic movement of Sapphire’s novel Push in...

Invaluable guide to climate science, but not solutions

Review: Storms of my grandchildren By James Hansen, Bloomsbury, $35 Last year James Hansen, one of the world’s best-known climate scientists, was arrested during a protest...

Pearson’s Radical Hope: Assimilation

Conservative Indigenous leader Noel Pearson uses his new essay Radical Hope to argue for a neo-liberal agenda in Aboriginal education, argues Ernest Price Noel Pearson,...

Hollywood fights imperialism in 3D

Review: Avatar Directed by James Cameron, in cinemas now AVATAR MIGHT not be the subtlest movie around but its central message is reaching millions: if ordinary...

Bases of the US Empire

Review: The bases of Empire Edited by Catherine Lutz, Pluto Press $58 An empire cannot function without bases. Just as Britain created bases all the way...

Guidebook for understanding the system

Unravelling Capitalism By Joseph Choonara, Bookmarks, $20 Joseph Choonara’s new book, Unravelling Capitalism is a short but comprehensive guide to Marxist economic theory and its continued...

When Hurricane Katrina brought the war home

Review: Zeitoun By Dave Eggers, Penguin $32.95 Zeitoun is the true story of one man, his family and the tragedy which besets them in the aftermath...

Academic gloss for the new assimilation

Review: The Politics of Suffering By Peter Sutton, Melbourne University Press, $34.95 Peter Sutton has a substantial pedigree in anthropology. He is the author of 40...

Moore’s condemnation of capitalism falls flat

Review: Capitalism: A love story Directed by Michael Moore, In cinemas now Revolutionaries steeped in Marxist theory and the history of class struggle play an important...

The Brisbane Bolshevik and the Russian Revolution

Review: The People’s Train By Tom Keneally, Vintage Books, $32.95 TOM KENEALLY’S The People’s Train is an exhilarating story of early 20th century radicalism, friendship and...

Film points finger at Australian complicity over deaths in Balibo

Balibo Directed by Robert Connolly, In cinemas now Balibo, the film about six Australian-based journalists murdered by Indonesian troops as they invaded East Timor in October...

Bosses build their profits on toll of workers’ lives

Review: Framework of Flesh By Humphrey McQueen, Ginninderra Press, $30 Noted Marxist historian Humphrey McQueen’s book on the builders’ labourers battle for health and safety, Framework...

A frock-coated communist: rediscovering Friedrich Engels

Review: The frock-coated communist By Tristram Hunt Allen Lane $59.95 As establishment economists struggle to explain capitalism’s crisis, the ideas of Karl Marx are enjoying a...

Guide for climate campaigners reflects movement’s weak points

Review:Climate action By Mark Diesendorf UNSW Press, $34.95 Mark Diesendorf will be well know to many climate activists from his regular speeches for local activist groups...

Confronting the myths used to justify dispossession

Review: Possession By Bain Atwood, Melbourne University Press, $54.99 The introduction to Possession argues, “the principle challenge to the Australian nation’s sense of itself as morally...

Bruno: A homophobic and tedious failure of a film

Review: Bruno Directed by Larry Charles, in cinemas now Dressed up as irony, this caricature of “gayness” is a boost for the bigots. Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen’s...

The bloody history Stalin tried to hide

Review: Katyn, Directed by Andrzej Wadja The revolutionary Victor Serge called the period of Hitler and Stalin “midnight of the century”. Hope for a better...

The Red Army Faction—flawed product of 1960s radicalism

Review: The Baader-Meinhof Complex Directed by Uli Edel In selected cinemas now When the state uses violence to repress dissent, is it permissible to use violence...

Cannes winner an indictment of Australian racism

Review: Samson and Delilah, Directed by Warwick Thornton In selected cinemas now SAMSON AND Delilah, written, directed and shot by Aboriginal film maker Warwick Thornton, tells...

Illzilla’s political hip hop a flower in the wasteland

Review: Wasteland Illzilla, Out now through Shock From its inception in the late 1970s, hip hop has had strong roots in the politics of rebellion. Hip...

Excusing responsibility for the Holocaust?

Review: The Reader Directed by Stephen Daldry, In cinemas now The Reader is a story of illicit love, of betrayal and guilt, and of redemption. Kate...

Raw challenge to the realities of racism

Review: The Combination Directed by David Field, In cinemas now THE COMBINATION is the story of a contemporary Lebanese family in urban Australia. Shot on location...

Former insider exposes carbon lobby deception

Review: Quarterly Essay “Quarry Vision: coal, climate change and the end of the resource boom” By Guy Pearse, Black Inc, $16.95 AS DEBATE hots up over...

Milk

I was born in 1970 in small town New Zealand. I grew up in the 80s in country NSW. I was in a closet...

Labor goes missing in The Howard Years

We survived the Howard years, and now you want us to watch it on Monday night prime time! That’s the sentiment of lots of...

1949 coal strike: How Chifley lost Labor’s supporters

For decades, only the Left has talked about the 1949 coal miners’ strike, using it as an example of how low a Labor government can stoop—to the point of using soldiers to scab. So it should have been welcome news that the ABC had put resources into an hour-long dramatisation, Infamous Victory: Ben Chifley’s Battle For Coal. Unfortunately, the ABC has given us little to cheer about.

Solutions to global warming but no way to get there

Review: “Now or never”, Quarterly Essay 31 By Tim Flannery Black Inc, $15.95 WHILE THE great financial melt-down has dominated the headlines for the past month,...

How ordinary people paid for the boom

Review: The Land of Plenty By Mark Davis Melbourne University Publishing, $36.95 NOW THAT the Australian economy is slowing, ordinary Australians will be expected to take...

The politics of Rudd’s ‘family values’

Review: The Henson Case By David Marr Text Publishing, $24.95 WHEN, IN May this year, the right-wing forces of Miranda Devine and 2GB radio came together...

Jonathan Neale’s Stop Global Warming: Change The World

Review Bookmarks, 2008, $30.00 from Solidarity As one of the most sun-drenched continents on the planet, Australia should be a leading solar industry supplier. Instead we...

Before abortion rights were won

Review: The Racket By Gideon Haigh, Melbourne University Publishing, $34.95 WHILE NEW legislation to decriminalise abortion is debated in the Victorian parliament, influential priests and some...

A graphic and haunting soldier’s tale

Review: Waltz With Bashir Directed by Ari Folman, Limited cinema release ARI FOLMAN was only 19 when he was conscripted as part of Israel’s 1982...

A fresh look at America’s urban decay

Review: The Wire WHEN US presidential candidate Barack Obama was asked his favourite TV show and character, his answers were The Wire and Omar Little...

Australian atrocities at war

Review: Australians At War: A Pictorial History By A. K. MacDougall, The Five Mile Press, RRP $39.95, 2008 edition Tony MacDougall's revised edition of his book,...

Greer’s rage no answer to the NT intervention

Review: On Rage By Germaine Greer, Melbourne University Press, $19.95 RIGHT-WING SUPPORTERS of the NT intervention will find comfort in the pages of Germaine Greer’s...

Persepolis: Iran through a rebel’s eyes

Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, Now showing WITH US-LED military threats against Iran showing no signs of abating, the release of Persepolis on...

Inside Kevin 07: Danger signs right from the start

By Christine Jackman, Melbourne University Press, $34.95 THE BEST thing about this book is that we know how the story ends—Howard loses. However, a big...

The Dark Knight: Fighting terror with terror

Directed by Chris Nolan THE DARK KNIGHT, sequel to Batman Begins, is the latest recreation of the 70 year old modern myth that is The...

A history that’s on our side

Review: A People's History of the World By Chris Harman, Palgrave Macmillan $39.95 READING CHRIS Harman's epic A People's History of the World, republished by Verso,...

Greenpeace Energy [r]evolution report

AUSTRALIA’S ENERGY evolution is a useful tool for the climate movement. Greenpeace researchers have drawn together the best science and technology to build a...

The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island

By Chloe Hooper, Hamish Hamilton, $32.95 CHLOE HOOPER, a novelist whose first book won international praise, recently released The Tall Man, a book on...

Inside the Al Sadr movement

Review: Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq By Patrick Cockburn, Allen and Unwin $29.95 BY A strange coincidence the place where the first US soldier...

Military mayhem

Review: A Military History of Australia Jeffrey Grey, Cambridge University Press, RRP $39.95 With the “War on Terror” the watchword of the Howard era, there have...

Salute – “I’m not talking about the 200 metres, I’m talking about the human...

Who is Australia’s fastest sprinter ever? At which Olympic Games did he win the silver medal? Why is he a hero for many US...

Last Drinks: Toohey’s racist diatribe

THE WIDESPREAD acclaim for The Australian journalist Paul Toohey’s Last Drinks: The Impact of the Northern Territory Intervention (Quarterly Essay 30, June 2008), demonstrates...

Let them in, but never mind the neo-liberalism

Review of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders Jason L. Riley, Penguin USA ON May 1, there were mass protests in cities across...

Deported to danger

Review of A Well Founded Fear Directed by Bentley Dean and Anne Delaney Screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival, A Well Founded Fear investigates...

Shopping, sex and the city

Review of Sex and the City, directed by Michael Patrick King Coming to DVD SEX AND the City (SATC), the film based on the television series...

Superhero fights for the US war machine

Iron Man Directed by Jon Favreau In cinemas now Andrea: "Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero."Galileo: "No, Andrea: unhappy is the land that needs a...

Entertaining series fails to probe crime’s roots

Underbelly Produced by Greg Haddrick and Brenda Pam Out now on DVDUNDERBELLY, THE TV series that dramatised the long-running drug wars in Melbourne, has been a...

Hollywood’s faith shaking tale of war

In the Valley of ElahWritten and directed by Paul Haggis In cinemas nowSpeaking of the reality of military service, Iraq War veteran Matt Howard last...

Missed chance to map out agenda for change

Dear Mr Rudd Edited by Robert Manne Black Inc, $29.95 With Howard finally gone, the time would seem right for a book that lays out how the...

‘The torture word’

IN LATE February Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film is about the torture and...

Fear and fantasy in the ‘war on terror’

The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America Susan Faludi Scribe Publications, $35 COULD SEPTEMBER 11 really be blamed on the women's movement? Why did...

Artists tackle anti-Muslim racism

Fear of a Brown Planet Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain THIS BRILLIANT stand-up comedy show was part of both the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Sydney...

1968–the year the world revolted

Of all the articles, features, memoirs and books devoted to 1968, "The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After", by Chris Harman, the editor of...

Oil–an American obsession

ONE HUNDRED years ago the United States was the biggest oil producer in the world. California alone accounted for 22 per cent of global...

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