Category

Words & Ideas

Dawood Amiri is an ethnic Hazara who, in 2010, made the fateful decision to seek asylum in Australia. He arrived in Indonesia in 2010, and after various adventures and misadventures, was captured along with over 150 other refugees when he was about to board a boat headed for Christmas Island. After a long stint in detention, ... read more

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'I need a wife' It's a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it's not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It's a potent economic asset on the work front. And it's an advantage enjoyed - even in our modern society - by vastly more men than women.... read more

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The Art of Belonging advances the argument put forward in Mackay's bestselling The Good Life: a 'good life' is not lived in isolation or in the pursuit of independent goals; a good life is lived at the heart of a thriving community, among people we trust, and within an environment of mutual respect. Drawing on 50 years' exper... read more

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We seem to have given up on any serious effort to prevent catastrophic climate change. Despite mounting scientific evidence, denialism is surging in many wealthy countries, and extreme fossil-fuel extraction gathers pace. Exposing the work of ideologues on the right who know the challenge this poses to the free market all too... read more

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In The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama took us from the dawn of mankind to the French and American Revolutions. Here, he picks up the thread again in the second instalment of his definitive account of mankind's emergence as a political animal.This is the story of how state, law and democracy developed after these... read more

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AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY IN INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOPS FOR INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERS WEEK - 28TH JUNE-5TH JULY 2014 Mark Forsyth - author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon - reveals in this essay, specially commissioned for Independent Booksellers Week, the most valuable thing about a really good bookshop. Alon... read more

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Over the next two years, Australians will decide if and how Aboriginal people will be recognised in the Constitution. Professor Greg Craven writes: 'We have a committed Prime Minister, and a committed opposition. We have a receptive electorate. There will never be a better time. We have no choice but to address the question.

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Back in 1998, the internet was young and wild and free. Along with listservs, pornography, and listservs dedicated to pornography, there was a website that ran all its articles in the same font and within abnormally narrow margins. This site was called McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and many dozens of people read it. Now, fif... read more

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Since 2008, award-winning investigative journalist Nick Davies has worked tirelessly - determined, driven, brilliant - to uncover the truth about the goings on behind the scenes at the News of the World and News International. This book now brings us the definitive, inside story of the whole scandal. How a network of lawyers,... read more

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After the publication of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five (Delacorte, 1959) brought him worldwide acclaim in 1969, Kurt Vonnegut became one of America's most popular graduation speakers. There were years when public speaking was his main source of income and he put a great deal of thought and preparation into the things he said ... read more

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After decades of prosperity Australians are now worried about their jobs, their incomes and their future. The mining boom, said to explain Australia's past success, is declared to be over. Unemployment has increased, carmakers have folded, the government is running a huge deficit. In a striking analysis, economist John Edward... read more

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In Quarterly Essay 53, Paul Toohey looks at one of Tony Abbott's signature promises: to stop the boats. Has his government succeeded? If so, at what cost? In Java, Toohey observes asylum seekers heading for Australia and reports on the Indonesian response.

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Wide-ranging in theme and context, it explores the imaginative effects of his writing. A tribute to Chris on the occasion of this eightieth birthday, in many ways it suggests an alternative cultural history of Australia since the 1950s. Containing biographical and critical pieces, poems (including new work by Chris) and essay... read more

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A central bond, a cherished value, a unique relationship, a profound human need, a type of love. What is the nature of friendship, and what is its significance in our lives? How has friendship changed since the ancient Greeks began to analyze it, and how has modern technology altered its very definition? In this fascinating e... read more

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From the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) ... read more

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Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and to be large and long-lived... read more

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100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How ... read more

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Disease - specifically infectious disease - is what eventually kills the overwhelming majority of us. In fact, it's amazing that it doesn't get us sooner: we fight off millions of disease-causing germs every day. So how come we're not dead yet? In this lively and accessible book, Idan Ben-Barak tells us why. He explores the i... read more

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In Mind Change, Susan Greenfield discusses the all-pervading technologies that now surround us, and from which we derive instant information, connected identity, diminished privacy and exceptionally vivid here-and-now experiences. In her view they are creating a new environment, with vast implications, because our minds are p... read more

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In Molecules Gray goes beyond the 118 elements in the periodic table to explore, through fascinating stories and stunning photographic imagery, what he considers to be the most essential and interesting of the millions of possible chemical bonds. At the beginning of the Molecules Gray explains what molecules and compounds are... read more

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