books

No Friend but the Mountains, written by Kurdish journalist and human right activist Behrouz Boochani who has been jailed on Manus Island since 2013, stands out among the genre of prison literature.

In reviewing this important - but not self-important - book by Lindy Nolan, I can hardly do better than start by quoting Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Northern Territory Australian of the Year in 2015 and Amatjere Elder, from the backcover of the book: “Such deep and fearless truth.”

Since it was first mooted in 2010, the Adani Carmichael Coal and Rail project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin has proven controversial. It has faced a series of legal challenges by environment groups and Traditional Owners, as well as campaigns by activists calling on financial institutions to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The starting date has been rescheduled several times as the viability of the project has been called into question and potential finance proves elusive.

It is timely then, at this impasse, that two new books are released documenting the story so far and canvassing possible outcomes.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at a series of new books of interest for ecosocialists.

The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66

By Geoffrey B Robinson

Princeton University Press, 2018

429 pages

From October 1965 to mid-1966, one of the worst mass killings of the 20th century took place in Indonesia. Anywhere between 500,000 and more than 1 million people associated with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) were estimated to have been killed and more than 1 million others jailed, some for more than 3 decades, in an anti-leftist purge led by the Indonesian military.

Doug McEachern’s novel follows the progress and regress of the two friends living in the 1960s as “endless acrimonious debates over militancy” pepper their student group house in inner-city North Adelaide.

Ian Angus, editor of Climate and Capitalism, takes a look at six new books of interest to ecosocialists —  from pro-corporate “environmentalism” to the struggle of indigenous peoples in Latin America and the scramble for Africa’s natural resources.

The Lucky Galah

By Tracy Sorensen

Picador

Sydney, 2018

279 pages, $29.99

The Lucky Galah is the first novel from Tracy Sorensen, tutor in media at Charles Sturt University, documentary maker and former Green Left Weekly journalist.

The novel is largely told from the perspective of a galah named Lucky. From her cage or perched on her owner’s shoulder, Lucky observes and narrates life with a degree of omniscience, yet lives life caged or restricted by clipped wings.

Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion & Defiance of Prince Charles

By Tom Bower

William Collins, 2018

Meghan: A Hollywood Princess

By Andrew Morton

Michael O’Mara Books, 2018

“Nobody knows what utter hell it is to be Prince of Wales,” whined Charles, the heir to the British throne.

The former British colony of Malaya (now Malaysia) gained its independence on August 31, 1957. However, this was based on a deal by the Malay elites represented by the conservative United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) and Chinese and Indian capitalist classes with British colonialism. This deal preserved the privileges of the Malay elite.

Ten years earlier in 1947, a different vision of independence based on popular democratic participation and multi-ethnic solidarity came together in the “People’s Constitution”.

Pages

Subscribe to books