Australian politics, society & culture


Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Sally Neighbour
A young soldier at the Anzac Day morning service in Warnambool, Victoria, 2009. © Angela Milne / Fairfax
By Sally Neighbour
Shamans at a funeral ceremony, Ivory Coast. © Fulvio Roiter / Corbis
Aravind Adiga on VS Naipaul’s 'The Masque of Africa'
By Aravind Adiga
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Hugh White
By Patrick Allington
With this sweeping tale of contemporary New York, Joseph O'Neill - Irish-born, raised in the Netherlands and now living in the US - has ridden a wave of critical praise onto the Man Booker long-list. O'Neill's self-absorbed first-person narration contains echoes of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, yet it is
A Report From Afghanistan
By Chris Masters
My visit began in late May 2007. It was not yet summer, but at midnight the air-conditioning was still welcome. Over here even the tents are climate-controlled. Sleep does not come in large rations. At 2 am on my first morning we were mustered and stumbled towards a convoy of Bendigo-built Bushmasters. I met my driver
Travels through a hibernating war
By Debbie Whitmont
It's a winter morning and I'm standing on the tarmac of Kabul Airport, staring at the mountains that loom up from the end of the runway and being deafened by the rotors of four military helicopters. Last night, I stayed up too late watching some of the dozens of insurgency DVDs that pass from hand to hand
Walter Crocker’s ‘Nehru: A Contemporary’s Estimate’
By Ramachandra Guha
The relationship between Australia and India has usually been viewed through the lens of cricket. Don Bradman and Keith Miller were heroes to a generation of Indians reared on nationalist prejudice, which predisposed them to admire those who got the better - wherever, and in whichever way - of the British. More
A century after the Dreyfus Affair, “anti-terror” legislation jeopardises Australians’ right to a fair trial
By Julian Burnside
On 26 September 1894, the French Intelligence Service intercepted a message which had been sent to Lieutenant-Colonel von Schwartzkoppen. This document, later known universally as the Bordereau, demonstrated that someone on the general staff of the French Army had leaked important military secrets to the Germans. An
'Shalimar the Clown' by Salman Rushdie
By Delia Falconer
Toward the beginning of A Satanic Affair, his analysis of the furore caused by The Satanic Verses, Malise Ruthven tells the following story. A month or so into the publicity for the novel, Rushdie was invited onto BBC radio’s Desert Island Discs. He chose the ten CDs he would take with him to a desert island. What
Keith Miller, and the struggle to capture him on paper
By Ramachandra Guha
One of the first books I owned was Keith Miller’s Cricket Crossfire. My father found it in a shop in Delhi and brought it home to the small sub-Himalayan town where we lived. I read the book, then read it again. What charmed me most was its conspicuous internationalism. Where the memoirs of English cricketers tended
By Malcolm Knox
On May 11, 1989, the worst team to leave Australia was playing the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord’s. One of the worst team’s worst bowlers, Mervyn Hughes, was fielding a few steps from where I sat on the boundary. England welcomed Hughes, an antipodean caricature well known for his handlebar moustache and risible Big
By Azhar Abidi
On a Saturday morning in Marree, south of Lake Eyre and on the fringe of central Australian desert country, four generations of cameleers are waiting for the town’s annual camel race to begin. Aysha, 94, scrutinises the animals with a professional eye. She is a delicate woman with a thin long face, criss-crossed with