books

Anti-government protests in Bahrain, 2011. Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia & the Arab Spring That Wasn’t Toby Matthiesen Stanford University Press, 2013 In 2011, when a wave of protest and rebellion swept the Arab world, the monarchical states making up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were not exempt from the unrest.
Author Carla Gorton at the Cairns launch of the book and associated film project. Photo: Jobsforwomenfilm.com. Women of Steel: Gender, jobs & justice at BHP Carla Gorton & Pat Brewer Resistance Books, Sydney $10 paperback, 73 pages www.resistancebooks.com
Migrant workers are employed in slave-like conditions on construction of Qatar's World Cup facilities. The Ugly games: The Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup Heidi Blake & Jonathan Calvert Simon & Schuster, 2015 472 pages The only surprising thing about the FIFA corruption scandal is that anyone should be surprised, given the long history of credible allegations of bribery in world football’s governing body.
Freedom Fallacy: The Limits of Liberal Feminism Edited by Miranda Kiraly & Meagan Tyler Published by Connor Court, 2015 With Miley Cyrus declaring herself “one of the biggest feminists in the world”, and Beyonce performing at the 2014 MTV Music Awards in front of a huge illuminated sign that read “Feminist”, it would appear that feminism has gone mainstream.
Thomas Sankara: An African Revolutionary By Ernest Harsch Ohio University Press, 2014 163 pages, $18.56. A popular uprising in 1983 in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), a small and poor land-locked country in western Africa, had led to an obscure, but charismatic army officer becoming head of state. This was inspiring news for those looking for a new breakthrough against imperialism. It had come after the depressing news that Margaret Thatcher's Britain had defeated Argentina in the Malvinas and Ronald Reagan's United States had crushed Grenada's revolution.
In The Company Of Cowards: Bush, Howard & Injustice at Guantanamo Michael Mori Viking, 2014 292 pages, $29.99 (pb) Murder At Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit Of The Truth About Guantanamo Bay Joseph Hickman Simon & Schuster, 2015 245 pages, $29.99 (pb) Major Michael Mori was a Republican-leaning, US military lawyer who “embraced the values I had been taught in scouts, sports, high school, college, law school and the Marines” — above all the ideal of fair play.
The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again by Paul Geoghegan Luath Press 2015 177 pages The British-wide general election for the Westminster parliament scheduled for May 7 looks set to be very close, perhaps even closer than the 2010 election that resulted in the Labour Party being replaced by a Conservative Party-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Opinion polls suggest that neither of the two main British parties, Conservative or Labour, will win enough seats for a majority of their own in the House of Commons.
Günter Grass, who was one of Germany’s most important post-war novelists, died on April 13 at the age of 87 in the town of Lübeck, in northern Germany. Grass was perhaps most famous for his 1959 book The Tin Drum, a novel that embodied fantastical elements in its critique of Weimar and Nazi Germany. As such, his style bore resemblances to Latin America’s genre of magical realism. In 1979, the book was turned into an Academy Award winning film by Volker Schlöndorff, which won the Oscar for best foreign film.
The Inconvenient Genocide: Who Remembers the Armenians? Geoffrey Robertson QC, Vintage Books, Sydney, 294 pages, 2014 On the eve of Nazi Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland, Adolf Hitler urged his generals “to kill without mercy men, women and children of the Polish race or language”. “Only in such a way will we win [what] we need,” Hitler said. “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians.” The Nazi leader was referring to the genocide carried out by the Ottoman Turkish empire in 1915 against the Armenian people within its borders.
Hell-Bent: Australia’s Leap Into The Great War Douglas Newton Scribe, 2014 344 pages, $32.99 (pb) Behind all the froth, then and now, about the noble cause of World War I — defence of freedom against German aggression — lay a far less exalted reality, writes retired University of Western Sydney historian Douglas Newton. The war’s “grand plan” for Britain, candidly called “The Spoils” by the British Colonial Secretary, was to divvy the world up among the victors.

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