John Birmingham

John Birmingham is a writer. His books include He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, Leviathan and Final Impact. He blogs for the Brisbane Times and ABC Online.
@JohnBirmingham

Articles by this author

Clive Palmer and his Palmer United Party
Galilee has turned into an even bigger headache for Palmer than he has proven himself to be for politicians from Treasurer Wayne Swan to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Palmer...
 
An Australian light armoured vehicle, Tangi Valley, Afghanistan, March 2011. © SPC Eward Garibay/ISAF
Winning Enemies
The humiliating retreat from the southern Iraqi city of Basra, into cantonment at the airport, is widely regarded as the modern nadir of the British military. On 2 September 2007...
 
Campbell Newman. © Brian Cassey
Comment: The Shock Jock Rule of Campbell Newman
It was Winston Churchill who famously refused to cut funding to the arts to pay for more Spitfires and destroyers during the grimmest days of World War II, demanding of his art-...
 
Julian Assange holds a press conference on the 'Afghan War Diary' in London, 26 July 2010. © Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images
Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks
The man who fell to Earth
The religion of peace came late to Nuristan Province, arriving at spearpoint in 1896. In a desperately poor, remote land at the foot of the Hindu Kush mountain range, the local...
 
'Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania's Forests' by Anna Krien, Black Inc., 304pp; $29.95
‘Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests’ by Anna Krien
Tasmania is another country, sometimes another world. To move beyond the edge of settlement, which largely peters out a short drive from the fairytale towns of Hobart and...
 
'Brisbane' by Matthew Condon, UNSW Press, 312pp; $29.95
‘Brisbane’ by Matthew Condon
Cities have memories that outlive those who first held them. London will always recall the Blitz, Rome the glories of empire. Some memories are, of course, lost. Time, war,...
 
‘War’ by Sebastian Junger
It might seem strange and contrary, but among the many surprising truths in Sebastian Junger’s brilliant evocation of 15 months, on and off, spent at the front in Afghanistan is...
 
New South Wales
Failed state
One word seems unavoidable as you stand in the foyer of Neil Perry’s $35 million gamble, Rockpool Bar & Grill: soaring. Matt Preston, writing for the Age, thought the “soaring...
 
The National Party
Changing frontiers
The travels of my fellow writer and one-time co-author Dirk Flinthart and I are a tale of two countries. We took up the pen at the same time, about 20 years ago. Whereas I moved...
 
A short history of the media future
Mash-up
In the year of our Lord 2007, I built a library. Indeed, I built two. One of them, a professional library, was built into an office where I carry out the pleasant business of...
 
Australia and the Indian Ocean
Looking west
From the moment James Cook dropped anchor at Botany Bay, taking shelter from the many squalls and great seas and hard rains that had attended his passage up the east coast of the...
 
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
Soiled goods
The dimpled orange, bursting with sweetness, that you cut for your breakfast this morning had been dying from the moment it was plucked from its twig. Human hands might have...
 
Out of work in a land of plenty
The coming storm
One man's recession began in February, on Friday the 13th. Another's world came apart in March. The Ides of March were also cruel to a woman we'll call Dusty. We'll call her that...
 
The same dirty old energy
In the dark?
It might seem odd to anyone who's endured more than five minutes of a grey, wet winter's day in Canberra, but the national capital enjoys more sunshine than any of Australia's...
 
'The Killer Within' by Paul Toohey, Allen & Unwin, 240pp; $29.95
Paul Toohey’s ‘The Killer Within’
A righteous certainty
Lawyers are a bit like junkies in some ways. If you let one into your life, you might as well throw open the door to a crack house full of them. While Bradley John Murdoch, the...
 
Beattie’s Babylon
In February of 2004, as south-east Queensland sweated through a fourth year of drought, a small piece of Melbourne’s inner-city culture broke off and floated north to the grimy...
 
Now who’s ‘The One’? Kerry Stokes: the fun begins at Seven
The outsider
It was enthralling, in a ten-car pile-up kind of way, to watch the cyclone of rhetoric that blew through the media in the weeks after the death of Kerry Packer, much of it devoted...
 
Kim Beazley has been charming mall-goers. And getting angry. And developing a knack for snappy one-liners. Is it too late?
Deserve’s got nothing to do with it
“Ohmygod, Kim would so love to fight a war on terror!” It was an odd, unguarded thing to say, couched in the modern patois of teenspeak. This global language, a child of Hollywood...
 

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