A new book expresses concern that the ‘average American’ has base knowledge so low that it is now plummeting to ‘aggressively wrong’.
Tom Nichols' book The Death of Expertise examines why the relationship between experts and citizens in a democracy is collapsing, and what can be done about it.
Leo Zeilig’s latest novel is set in the Robert Mugabe-ruled Zimbabwe.
Leo Zeilig's novel features a superbly crafted cast of characters. It's a page turner for readers interested in the profound questions of radical politics and humanity.
Climate fiction: A novel describes New Yorkers keeping on even after 50 feet of sea-level rise next century.
A researcher on sea level rise and climate change impacts reviews Kim Stanley Robinson's new novel, 'New York 2140,' which envisions the city's future in the face of extreme sea-level rise.
Fragrance is intimately linked with our memories and feelings.
J. Sibiga Photography/Flickr
Surely only a weirdo wouldn't enjoy the smell of flowers and pine forests? But as Kate Grenville writes in her latest book, fragrance causes untold misery to many of us.
A work of fiction gives an interesting insight into the real world of science research.
Thomas Barlow is more used to writing factual reports on science innovation, so his first novel gives an entertaining insight into the science community.
Even 'madmen' have their motives for fighting.
Enough with the charming, naughty funny-guy rants. There are too many in a new anthology of Australian comedy writing – and women display a superior comic imagination.
The Andromeda Galaxy, just part of a finely tuned universe.
Flickr/NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler
A new book explores some of the big questions of why the universe exists and why it seems fine-tuned for life.
South African policewomen on beach patrol.
A tone of bitter disillusionment dominates the book, which combines self-deprecating anecdotes with reflections on the unique strangeness of policing a post-apartheid South African city.
Are contemporary insults as witty as the scorn of the past?
Scorn has a long and humorous history. But a new book on the subject, featuring quotes from Kanye West, Christopher Hitchens and of course, Donald Trump, rather lacks contemporary wit.
BBC/Two Brothers Pictures Ltd.
Women’s privates have moved to the front and centre of popular entertainment. And they're not always pretty.
DeLillo's latest novel dwells on the implications of accelerating technology – including the practice of freezing dead bodies in the hope that one day, they could become immortal.
All to often, true crime books have glorified male violence and reproduced crude sexist stereotypes.
The genre that brought us the writings of Mark "Chopper" Read isn't known for its impeccable gender politics. But two new books cast a critical eye on a culture of male violence.
In a new book, former prime minister Paul Keating makes it clear that, from a young age, he was interested in power and the gaining of it.
Kerry O'Brien has provided the platform for Paul Keating to define his political career, explain what drove his reform agenda and cement his position as one of Australia's greatest leaders.
One of Tony Abbott’s first acts on coming to office was to remove Martin Parkinson (left) as Treasury secretary.
Debate, serious discussion and deliberation are valued highly in a democracy not just for their own sake, but because they are considered essential to testing the quality of ideas and arguments.
Jonathan Coe’s sales are four times higher in France than in the UK.
Jonathan Coe is under-read and underrated – in the UK. In France, his stinging social attacks on Britain are far more popular.
What do we learn about Labor leader Bill Shorten from David Marr’s new Quarterly Essay?
Faction Man is a product of Black Inc. From their perspective, Bill Shorten – and his fascination with grimy Labor machine politics – is an alien figure.
China is Australia’s most important trading partner and a growing source of investment.
The “national interest”, at least as far as economic policy is concerned, has always been a contested compromise and a consequence of the relative political influence of domestic forces.
Electricity is only one of the marvels brought to us by science. But even that’s not enough to convince some of its value.
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty's new book explores why so many people today selectively reject science, and in the process gives a behind the scenes look at how science really works.
B.A. Santamaria (left) is the subject of a new biography by political commentator Gerard Henderson.
Gerard Henderson has produced a rounded and at times fascinating portrait of B. A. Santamaria. His broad conclusion is that Santamaria was a compelling, skilled and persuasive man who was enormously devoted to his causes.