history

Losing Santhia: Life & Loss in the Struggle for Tamil Eelam
Ben Hillier
Interventions, 2019
150 pages

After centuries under the yoke of English rule, Irish nationalists staged failed uprisings against British rule in 1798, 1803 and 1848. By 1858, Irish freedom fighters formed the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Known as the Fenians, they recruited among Irish soldiers in the British army to overthrow the British authorities.

However by 1867, the Fenian rising was crushed and dozens of their members sentenced to up 15 years in the British penal colony of Western Australia. Once there, they sent to Fremantle Gaol. Known as the "Convict Establishment" or the "Living Tomb", and built by convict labour in the 1850s, the men were subjected to a brutal regime of forced labour and floggings.

Denis Diderot is now remembered, if at all, only as the name of a Metro railway station in an unfashionable neighbourhood of Paris. 

In his day, however, the 18th century Enlightenment philosopher was quite the subversive intellectual who parted the ideological fog of religious, moral and political backwardness for a view of the sunnier uplands of today’s society, writes Phil Shannon.

While it was Afro-American blues music that grew into rock and roll, soul music sprang from the Black tradition of gospel churches. Aretha Franklin was undoubtedly the greatest soul singer of the 60s and this film shows that she never left the church behind.

An image from a medieval translation of Avicenna's Canon

There would have been no Enlightenment without Avicenna and his successor, Averroes – who Bloch sees as forming an “Aristotelian left” trend, writes Barry Healy.

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."

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.

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.

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