Australian politics, society & culture

Don Watson

Peter Craven on the Best Books for Summer
By Peter Craven
I suppose 2008 will be remembered as the year when the bottom fell out of the markets and America elected Barack Obama. If the former is likely to send most readers screaming back to John Maynard Keynes (or perhaps to the remarkably detailed and candid The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice
By Peter Craven
Alice Schroeder, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (Bloomsbury, 976pp; $49.95). Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father, read by the author (Text Publishing, 6 CDs; $39.95).Helen Garner, The Spare Room (Text Publishing, 208pp; $29.95).Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap (Allen & Unwin, 496pp; $32.95). Tim
Recent book subtitles
By Gideon Haigh
The mass of books lead lives of quiet desperation. Compared to the dowdy shops of yesteryear, the modern bookstore is a place of gaiety, even exuberance. But with essentially three months to make their mark before returning from whence they came, under Australia's self-devouring sale-or-return system, books must dress
Don Watson’s ‘American Journeys’
By Delia Falconer
On YouTube, someone has posted a lovely compilation of the many train sequences in Yasujiro Ozu's films. Looking at this clip, you realise how well the director was able to use these dreamy but plainly framed shots as markers of time itself - of its gentle surety - within his stories. Only Japan's national railways,
Some Australian examples
By John Hirst
My Australian collection begins early, at Sydney Cove in 1789, the second year of the convict settlement. The nature of this anomalous society is still not well understood. Since the population consisted of convicts and military it is assumed that the military controlled the convicts. This is not so. The military had