The Sydney Institute Review

The Sydney Institute Review2023-12-06T09:39:12+11:00

MORE THAN LIVES – AUSTRALIA’S SACRIFICE IN THE GREAT WAR

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LIFE SO FULL OF PROMISE - further biographies of Australia’s lost generation By Ross McMullin Scribe 2023 ISBN (13):9781922585820 RRP: $49.99 (pb) Reviewed by Lucas Jordan   Life So Full of Promise: further biographies of Australia’s lost generation, is Ross McMullin’s second multi-biography featuring young Australians of remarkable talent who were killed [...]

THE KENNEDYS AS CAMELOT – WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

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CAMERA GIRL – THE COMING OF AGE OF JACKIE BOUVIER KENNEDY By Carl Sferrazza Anthony Gallery Books 2023 ISBN: 978 1 9821 4187 5 RRP: $49.99 (HB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson   It’s hard to imagine there would still be much to reveal about Jackie Bouvier Kennedy that has not been written [...]

THE MANY ROOMS IN FRANK MOORHOUSE – MORE THAN WRITING

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FRANK MOORHOUSE A LIFE By Catharine Lumby Allen & Unwin 2023 ISBN: 978 1 74237 224 2 RRP: $34.99 (PB)     As his friend and literary trustee Helen Lewis has recorded: “There were many rooms in Frank Moorhouse.” In this cute play on words, Lewis captured the many layered man she [...]

A BELATED COMING OF AGE – FALLING IN LOVE WITH ISRAEL

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MY LIFE AS A JEW By Michael Gawenda Scribe 2023 ISBN: 978 1 761380 47 1 RRP: $35 (PB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson   As a memoir, Michael Gawenda’s My Life as a Jew is part autobiography, part confession, part analysis of historical and contemporary global antisemitism and part a journey of [...]

POLITICAL LIVES COMPARED – ARTHUR CALWELL & BRIAN HARRADINE

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Arthur Calwell -  by James Franklin and Gerry O’Nolan Australian Biographical Monographs 20  Connor Court Publishing, 2023 ISBN:  9781922815811 RRP: $19.95       Brian Harradine – by Keith Harvey Australian Biographical Monographs 21 Connor Court Publishing, 2023 ISBN:  9781922815866 RRP: $19.95 Reviewed by Gerard Henderson   Judged by their electoral performances [...]

AUSTRALIAN WOMEN HEROES OF THE PACIFIC WAR

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SISTERS IN CAPTIVITY SISTER BETTY JEFFREY OAM AND THE COURAGEOUS STORY OF AUSTRALIAN ARMY NURSES IN SUMATRA, 1942-1945 by Colin Burgess Simon & Schuster Australia, 2023 ISBN 9781761109089 RRP $34.99   Reviewed by Ross Fitzgerald This fine book, Sisters in Captivity, is dedicated to “the heroic nurses who lived this story but never made [...]

HOW THE MALAYA CAMPAIGN BROUGHT DOWN AN AUSTRALIAN GENERAL

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THE FALL OF GENERAL GORDON BENNETT By Brett Lodge Robinson Reynolds 2023 ISBN: 978 1 914973 55 0 RRP: $35 (PB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson Brett Lodge’s The Fall of General Gordon Bennett (just released in a revised edition) is advertised as the “definitive biography”. In fact, Lodge has meticulously researched and [...]

CHINA’S GENOCIDE IN XINJIANG

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THE PERFECT POLICE STATE - AN UNDERCOVER ODYSSEY INTO CHINA’S TERRIFYING SURVEILLANCE DYSTOPIA OF THE FUTURE by Geoffrey Cain PublicAffairs/Hachette Australia 2021; ISBN: 9781541757035; RRP: $49.99 (hb) *** NO ESCAPE – THE TRUE STORY OF CHINA’S GENOCIDE OF THE UYGHURS by Nury Turkel HarperCollins 2022; ISBN: 9781335469564; RRP: $USD 28.99 or $51.25 [...]

THE SQUATTERS’ GRAB – WHERE IT ALL WENT WRONG

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THE SQUATTERS’ GRAB – WHERE IT ALL WENT WRONG By Wal Walker Wal Walker 2023 ISBN 978 0 646 99705 6 RRP: $36.95 (pb) Reviewed by Anne Henderson After a long campaign in Australia in 2023 over constitutional change and recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Australian constitution, reading Wal Walker’s The [...]

GETTING OFF THE BOOZE IN A BOOZE-OBSESSED CULTURE

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LAST DRINKS: HOW TO DRINK LESS AND BE YOUR BEST By Maz Compton, John Wiley & Sons, 2023 ISBN 9781394184231 RRP $32.95 (PB) Reviewed by Ross Fitzgerald   Many Australians now realise that our booze-obsessed culture is extremely destructive. The murder, mayhem, individual, societal and family destruction that alcohol abuse leaves in its wake [...]

GRAFTON EVEREST ON TOP OF THE (UNITED NATIONS) WORLD

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PANDEMONIUM By Ross Fitzgerald and Ian McFadyen Hybrid Publishers: Melbourne ISBN - 9781922768131 RRP: $32.99 Reviewed by Ken Spillman   The late Barry Humphries knew a thing or two about creating memorable characters. It’s notable, then, that the front cover of Ross Fitzgerald and Ian McFadyen’s latest collaboration, Pandemonium, quotes Humphries’ view [...]

HOW SEARCHING FOR A WIFE REVEALED MUCH LOST ABOUT HER FAMOUS HUSBAND

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WIFEDOM – MRS ORWELL’S INVISIBLE LIFE By Anna Funder Hamish Hamilton 2023 ISBN: 978 9 14378 711 2 RRP: $36.99 (PB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson   From the time some ancient scribbler put the words of the Book of Genesis together, a woman, or the female of the human species, has been [...]

ONE WOMAN’S QUEST TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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RESTLESS DOLLY MAUNDER By Kate Grenville Text Publishing 2023 ISBN: 9781922790330 RRP: $45 (HB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson     Dolly Maunder’s mistake, according to her grand daughter and literary creator Kate Grenville, was to be born in 1880 and as a woman who was clever and a bit ambitious. As such, [...]

LIVING WITH YOUR SUBJECT – BIOGRAPHY IN THE PUBLIC SPACE

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POLITICAL LIVES – AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTERS AND THEIR BIOGRAPHERS By Chris Wallace UNSW Press 2023 ISBN: 9781742237497 RRP: $39.99 (PB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson   What better topic for a book by a contemporary biographer than one about contemporary biographies of Australian prime ministers and the journalists, largely, who wrote them. In [...]

QUEENSLAND’S REMARKABLE SENATOR ANNABELLE

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ANNABELLE RANKIN – AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHICAL MONOGRAPHS 18 By Peter Sekuless Connor Court Publishing 2023 ISBN: 9781922815385 RRP: $19.95 (PB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson   For a woman of so many firsts, Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin has, as writer Peter Sukeless puts it, “been overlooked for too long”. Now, Connor Court’s Australian Biographical [...]

SOVIET RUSSIA’S CAMPAIGN IN FAVOUR OF FAKE NEWS

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THE RED HOTEL – THE UNTOLD STORY OF STALIN’S DISINFORMATION WAR By Alan Philps Headline Publishing Group 2023 ISBN: 978 1 0354 0131 4 RRP: $34.99 (PB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson   It is hard to imagine any untold stories left from the days of Stalinist Russia. But Alan Phips has found [...]

A DICTATOR’S DAUGHTER – ITALY’S YEARS OF FASCISM

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 EDDA MUSSOLINI – THE MOST DANGEROUS WOMAN IN EUROPE By Caroline Moorhead Chatto & Windus London 2022 ISBN: 9781784743239 (HB)  9781784743246 (TPB) RRP: $35 (PB) Reviewed by Anne Henderson   She was cold hearted, wild in temperament, her father’s daughter and a committed fascist. But as to the label given to her [...]

HONORING THE WORK OF THE MANDARIN

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POWER, POLITICS & PARLIAMENT ESSAYS IN HONOUR OF JOHN R. NETHERCOTE Edited by Henry Ergas and Jonathan Pincus Connor Court Publishing Pty Ltd 2023 ISBN:9781922815163 RRP: (HB) $59.95 Reviewed by Michael Baume "Anonymous in Life, Anonymous in Death: Memoirs and biographies of administrators” was the title when John R Nethercote, the Australian [...]

MAKING ROBERT MENZIES – THE EARLY YEARS

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THE YOUNG MENZIES - Success, Failure, Resilience 1894–1942  edited by Zachary Gorman. Melbourne University Press, 2022   ISBN: 9780522879223   RRP:  $49.95 (HB)   Reviewed by Ross Fitzgerald After a brilliant career at the Melbourne bar in the 1920s and a period as Victoria’s Attorney-General, Sir Robert Gordon Menzies eventually became the most [...]

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