Current Affairs / Politics
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Boys Will Be Boys
In Boys Will Be Boys, bestselling and ground-breaking author of Fight Like A Girl, Clementine Ford, dismantles the age-old idea that entitlement, aggression and toxicity are natural realms for boys, and reveals how the patriarchy we live in is as harmful to boys and men as it is to women and girls.
The Death of Truth
In The Death of Truth, former Pulitzer awarded New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm. In social media and literature, television, academia, and political campaigns, Kakutani identifies the trends – originating on both the right and the left – that have combined to elevate subjectivity over fact, science, and common values. And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is now eerily relevant.
No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics
Remember when it all seemed to be getting better? Before Trump happened? Naomi Klein, internationally acclaimed journalist, activist and bestselling author, shows us how we got to this surreal and dangerous place, how to stop it getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can make things better. No Is Not Enough reveals, among other things, how Trump's election was not a peaceful transition, but a corporate takeover, one using deliberate shock tactics to generate wave after wave of crises and force through radical policies that will destroy people, the environment, the economy and national security.
Quarterly Essay #72 Dead Right
What is the inner life? And is it vanishing in the digital age? Throughout history, artists and philosophers have cultivated the deep self, and seen value in solitude and reflection. But today, through social media, wall-to-wall marketing, reality television and the agitation of modern life, everything feels illuminated, made transparent. We feel bereft without our phones and their cameras and the feeling of instant connectivity. It gets hard to pick up a book, harder
still to stay with it. In this eloquent and profound essay, renowned critic Sebastian Smee brings to the surface the idea of
inner life - the awareness one may feel in front of a great painting or while listening to extraordinary
music by a window at dusk or in a forest at night.
On 24 July 2013, Anglican priest Rod Bower put up these words on the roadside sign of his Gosford parish church. Next he posted them on Facebook, sparking a social media revolution. The post was shared thousands of times - suddenly the one-time butcher was on the public stage. Today Fr Rod has close to 65,000 followers on social media. He uses this platform to raise questions about Australia's corporate soul, to assert that we are all brothers and sisters - asylum seekers, Muslims, those identifying as LGBTI, Indigenous Australians ... And for such messages, the death threats pour in. How did a shy adopted kid from the country become this steadfast conscience of our nation, preaching both peace and disruption?
Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There
The Sunday Times Bestseller We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers. Rutger Bregman, a bestselling Dutch historian, explains that it needn't be this way. Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization - from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy - was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime. This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he introduces ideas whose time has come.
Depends What You Mean By Extremist
No one turns up where they're not wanted quite like John Safran. In this hilarious and disorienting adventure he gets among our diverse community of white nationalists, ISIS supporters, anarchists and more, digging away at the contradictions that many would prefer be left unexamined. Who is this black puppet-master among the white nationalists? And this Muslim fundamentalist who geeks out on Monty Python? Is there a secret radicalisation network operating in John's own Jewish suburb? And ultimately - is hanging with all these radicals washing off on John himself? Populated by an extraordinary cast of 'ordinary' Australians, Depends What You Mean by Extremist is a startling, confronting portrait of contemporary Australia. We all think we know what's going on in our own country, but this larger-than-life, timely, and alarmingly insightful true story will make you think again . . . Drinking shots with nationalists and gobbling falafel with radicals, John Safran was there the year the extreme became the mainstream.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx.
Notes on an Exodus
In January 2016 Richard Flanagan and Ben Quilty travelled to Lebanon, Greece, and Serbia to follow the river that is the exodus of our age: that of refugees from Syria. Flanagan's 'notes' and Quilty's sketches bear witness to the remarkable people they met on that journey and their stories. These individual portraits from the Man Booker Prize winning author and Archibald Prize winning artist combine to form a powerful testament to human dignity and courage in the face of war, death, and suffering. Refugees are not like you and me. They are you and me. That terrible river of the wretched and the damned flowing through Europe is my family.
When to Rob a Bank
Why don't flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken? Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on Freakonomics.com. Now the very best of this writing has been carefully curated into one volume, the perfect solution for the millions of readers who love all things Freakonomics. Discover why taller people tend to make more money; why it's so hard to predict the Kentucky Derby winner; and why it might be time for a sex tax (if not a fat tax). You'll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner's own quirks and passions. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty.
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty
Why are some nations more prosperous than others? Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace. Based on fifteen years of research, and answering the competing arguments of authors ranging from Max Weber to Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond, Acemoglu and Robinson step boldly into the territory of Francis Fukuyama and Ian Morris. They blend economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty.
He raises hackles or receives resounding cheers, he's loved or hated but never ignored. Christopher Hitchen's is possibly the most provocative writer of our time, fearless and forthright with no subject off limits. This volume of essays spans a remarkable four decades of writing. From early articles in the New Statesman where he worked alongside writers such as Ian McEwan and Martin Amis, through to his pieces for Salon, The Atlantic and Vanity Fair, these articles display his rare genius, indomitable wit and singular command of language. World figures from Clinton to Mother Teresa, Kissinger to Benazir Bhutto go under his unforgiving microscope. Issues from Vietnam to Iraq, Afghanistan to Iran and literary musings on the leading writers of the last fifty years form the richest tapestry a reader could ask. 'Don't mince words' is the title of one of these pieces. Nor does he, nor has he over the course of a dozen books of which the most recent are the best selling God is not Great and Hitch-22, and hundreds of articles of which the cream of the crop is here.
Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy
When the world economy went into freefall, so too did our unquestioning faith in markets. But what happens now? Are bailouts and stern lectures enough, or do we need a rethink of our entire financial system? This acclaimed and inspiring book, by one of the world's leading economic thinkers, dissects the flawed ideas that led to the crisis, but also looks to the future.
Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches From America's Class War
When Joe Bageant returned to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, he rediscovered his redneck roots- 'the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks'. But he soon realised that these were the very people who had carried George W. Bush to victory. This seemed ironic, because Winchester, like countless American small towns, was fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass - a white ghetto of the working poor in which two in five people do not finish high school, nearly everyone over fifty has serious health problems and little or no health care, and credit ratings are virtually nonexistent. What it adds up to, Bageant argues, is an unacknowledged, American class war from which alcohol, overeating, and Jesus are the preferred avenues of escape. Deer Hunting with Jesus is a raucous mix of storytelling and political commentary.
Our houses are bigger than ever, but our families are smaller. Our kids go to the best schools we can afford, but we hardly see them. We've got more money to spend, yet we're further in debt than ever before. What is going on? The Western world is in the grip of a consumption binge that is unique in human history. We aspire to the lifestyles of the rich and famous at the cost of family, friends and personal fulfillment. Rates of stress, depression and obesity are up as we wrestle with the emptiness and endless disappointments of the consumer life. Affluenza pulls no punches, claiming our whole society is addicted to over consumption. It tracks how much Australians overwork, the growing mountains of stuff we throw out, the drugs we take to 'self-medicate' and the real meaning of 'choice'. Fortunately there is a cure. More and more Australians are deciding to ignore the advertisers, reduce their consumer spending and recapture their time for the things that really matter.
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