history

African-American novelist Toni Morrison — winner of the Pulitzer Prize (1988), the Nobel Prize for Literature (1993), and many other awards — died on August 5 at the age 88. 

Following the announcement, Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the civil rights organisation NAACP, remarked: "Rest in power to #ToniMorrison, one of the most prolific writers of our time."

Australia’s Vietnam
By Mark Dapin
NewSouth Publishing, 2019
261 pp., $32.99

August 18 is Vietnam Veterans’ Day in Australia. Every year we can rely on right-wing commentators to trot out the now-familiar stories of Vietnam Vets being abused when they returned to Australia.

Mark Dapin has researched these stories in depth and found that none of them are completely true and most are demonstrably false.

The role of individuals in history has been a long-standing bone of contention within the Marxist tradition.

Angels & Demons: A Radical Anthology of Political Lives
By Tony McKenna
Zero Books, 2018
263 pp, $16.99

The role of individuals in history has been a long-standing bone of contention within the Marxist tradition.  Stalinism, with its mechanical historical understanding, relegated individuals to the anonymous mass to be manipulated by Great Leaders, who shone like the Sun.

The inside story of a successful, but difficult, 14-year campaign to force BHP to hire women is nearing completion after 3 years. But the Women of Steel film needs your help to get to the finishing line.

Red Joan
Starring Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson, Tom Hughes & Tereza Srbova
Directed by Trevor Nunn
In cinemas

Red Joan is loosely based on the spying activities of British civil servant Melita Norwood, who was nearly 90 years old when she was exposed as a Soviet agent.

Mutiny on The Western Front: 1918
Greg Raffin
Big Sky Publishing, 2018
216 pages

For those who may have been living in a cave without electricity for a while, it may need pointing out that the Australian establishment likes to conduct extravagant khaki-and-slouch-hat festivals to annually celebrate the gore-filled Australian invasion of Gallipoli on April 25in 1915.

American Heiress: The Kidnapping, Crimes & Trial of Patty Hearst
Jeffrey Toobin
Profile Books, 2017, 371 pages

“Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people.” With this hyperbolic declaration by “General Field Marshall” Cinque M’tume (the nom-de-plume of a Black prison escapee), the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) introduced itself to the American people in the early 1970s.

Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers & Each Other
Matthew Sweet
Picador, 2018, 351 pages

Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet
By Yasha Levine
Icon Books, £14.99

As accusations continue to swirl through social media around foreign meddling in Britain’s Brexit referendum and the last US election, Yasha Levine’s Surveillance Valley is a timely intervention in revealing how undermining democracy has always been the modus operandi of the internet since its inception.

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