Culture

Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society: The Life of Karl Marx and the Development of His Work
Volume 1: 1818-1841
By Michael Heinrich
Monthly Review Press, 2019 
390 pp., $46.00

In the opening lines of this book Michael Heinrich quotes from an 1868 letter in which Karl Marx mentions a publisher’s request for a biography. “Not only did I not send one”, said Marx, “I did not even reply to the letter.”

Maryanne Ilhen

Maryanne & Leonard, Words of Love
Documentary film directed by Nick Broomfield
In cinemas

As I emerged from the media preview for this film, I heard another viewer mutter that it was “the most self-indulgent film I’ve ever seen”.

So, beware! This documentary about Leonard Cohen’s personal and artistic life will cut the sheep from the goats of fans and detractors – much like his music and atonal singing have always done.

Political albums from November 2019.

Here are the best new albums that relate to this month's political news, including the album of the year. If you read to the end, there's also a bonus. What albums would you suggest? Comment on TwitterFacebook, or email

While there are serious flaws in Inside the Greens, author Paddy Manning is too good a journalist to suppress vital information. Some of it is explosive.

For instance, during the recent conflicts in the Australian Greens between The Greens NSW and Bob Brown devotees, some in the later camp pushed for the wholesale expulsion of the former.

That was not the only example of such blow-up-the-ship thinking.

The Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the union representing Australia's professional football (soccer) players, registered a third straight year of record membership at its November 20 Annual General Meeting.

Leah Cowan reviews a book that systematically unpicks the myths that are spread in order to preserve the status quo.

The red and green shelf is overflowing! Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at nine important new books address topics ranging from ecosocialism and rising seas to trees, growth and global poverty.

BoJack Horseman Season 6
Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Starring Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Paul F Tompkins & Alison Brie
Season 6 now on Netflix

After the various trials and tribulations of the acclaimed Netflix series BoJack Horesman's titular character and his friends in season 5, BoJack (Will Arnett) starts season 6 with a stint in rehab trying to turn his life around and make amends for his past actions.

Considering the terrors that Mikhail Sholokhov lived through and nearly perished from in Stalinist Russia, it is a wonder that the Soviet novelist retained any sense of humour. Yet he did.

Margaret Atwood's 2019 Booker Prize-winning novel The Testaments is her response to the question of readers of The Handmaid's Tale: how did Gilead fall? She's had 35 years to come up with the answer, and she doesn't disappoint.

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