history

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.

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 25 in 1915.

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