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.
Selling students short comes at an important time for higher education in Australia: funding uncertainties and questions over academic standards have never been more pronounced.
Richard Hil’s Selling Students Short: Why You Won’t Get the Education You Deserve is a timely exposé of the difficult conditions facing students at Australia’s increasingly corporatised universities.
All by myself.
The Latham Diaries remains a seminal piece – not only having revealed the ALP’s inner workings, but having highlighted policy issues and structural problems which continue to be of concern.
Under former president Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan was little more than a ‘vertically integrated criminal organisation’, according to a new book.
Corruption can directly contribute to the growth of the very forces the world’s security agencies are desperately trying to contain and combat.
Any discussion of ‘mateship’ in 2015 will inevitably exist in the shadow of the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli.
Australian War Memorial
In late 2007, a couple of months after our last HSC exam, one of my best friends punched me. In hindsight, I probably deserved it. We were 18, liberated from school and newcomers to alcohol. To make a…
In a new book, author Frank Moorhouse calls for a new compact between intelligence agency ASIO and Australian society.
Frank Moorhouse is known primarily – but not exclusively – for his award-winning fiction such as the Edith Triology. In more recent times, he has turned his considerable talents to the role of the Australian…
Actor and activist Russell Brand’s solution for what ails us is nothing less than a revolution.
Three things about the present era are especially striking. First, problems persist. For those fortunate enough to have grown up in post-war Australia in particular, this is a somewhat surprising reality…
Julia Gillard’s My Story is about defending her legacy, but she is not blind to the faults of the Labor Party nor to her own mistakes.
Julia Gillard’s autobiography, My Story, presents a comprehensive defence of her prime ministership. Gillard dives straight into the heart of her story, beginning on the day she was sworn in as prime minister…