Book Reviews

Hitler’s Professors: A documentation of war crimes by German academics against the Jewish people

By Clara Weiss, 16 January 2017

Max Weinreich’s classic study, Hitler’s Professors, first published in 1946, documents the role of leading German academics in the murder of Europe’s Jewish population.

A Pound of Flesh: The US legal system’s war against the poor

By Nancy Hanover, 7 January 2017

A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor, a new book by sociologist Alexes Harris, shows how legal financial obligations (LFOs) penalize the poorest among us.

Exile as an Intellectual Way of Life: The collaboration of Lion Feuchtwanger and Bertolt Brecht

By Sybille Fuchs, 29 December 2016

In his new book, journalist and non-fiction writer Andreas Rumler examines the intellectual relationship between two major German literary figures, Lion Feuchtwanger and Bertolt Brecht.

Novelist Lionel Shriver’s The Mandibles: A Family, 2029–2047 imagines an American meltdown

By James Brookfield, 6 December 2016

When we meet the cast of characters, in Shriver’s dystopian novel set in the not-so-distant future, the US is mired in economic crisis, driven largely by the growth of entitlement spending.

New study of American novelist

A conversation with Tony Williams, author of James Jones: The Limits of Eternity—Part 2

By David Walsh, 2 December 2016

Tony J. Williams has written a new study of the American novelist, James Jones (1921–77), best known for From Here to Eternity, Some Came Running, The Thin Red Line and the posthumously published Whistle.

New study of American novelist

A conversation with Tony Williams, author of James Jones: The Limits of Eternity—Part 1

By David Walsh, 1 December 2016

Tony J. Williams has written a new study of the American novelist, James Jones (1921–77), best known for From Here to Eternity, Some Came Running, The Thin Red Line and the posthumously published Whistle.

The political anatomy of pseudo-left war propaganda

Part two

By Eric London, 2 November 2016

A Road Unforeseen employs postmodernist political categories and identity politics in an explicit call for US war in the Middle East.

The political anatomy of pseudo-left war propaganda

Part one

By Eric London, 1 November 2016

A Road Unforeseen employs postmodernist political categories and identity politics in constructing an argument for war in the Middle East.

Making the case for war in Eastern Europe

Robert D. Kaplan’s In Europe’s Shadow

By Clara Weiss, 26 October 2016

The latest book by Robert D. Kaplan advocates transforming Romania into a military staging ground for US imperialism and preparing for all-out war against Russia.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: The dystopian vision of racial politics

By Tom Eley and David Walsh, 15 October 2016

With the publication last year of African-American journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, the political and media establishment quickly declared the author to be one of the country’s leading commentators on race.

Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution, by Kenneth D. Ackerman

By Linda Tenenbaum, 8 October 2016

Trotsky in New York, 1917 focuses on a remarkable period in the life of one of the greatest political figures in modern history.

Adam Hochschild’s Spain in Our Hearts: A deeply felt work on the Spanish Civil War marred by its perspective

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 3 October 2016

Hochschild is the well-known author of several books on wide-ranging and important topics, including the brutality of Belgian colonialism in the Congo (King Leopold’s Ghost).

Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

By Debra Watson, 13 September 2016

During the Great Depression of the 1930’s evictions in major American cities like Milwaukee were a fraction of what they are today. Meanwhile, in the US, post-2008 rental housing market rates continue to rise as working class incomes stagnate and even fall.

An interview with Roy Scranton, author of War Porn

By Eric London, 1 September 2016

Novelist Roy Scranton spoke with the WSWS about his debut novel, War Porn, and the role of art in opposing war.

War Porn by Roy Scranton

The anti-war novel re-emerges in American literature

By Eric London, 22 August 2016

The debut novel by former US Army soldier Roy Scranton is a portrayal of a society devastated by a state of permanent war.

An interview with David Williams, author of Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War

By Eric London, 16 August 2016

The World Socialist Web Site recently interviewed Professor David Williams of Valdosta State University about class conflict during the American Civil War and its relationship to social and political developments after the war.

Sleeping Giant: Deception and lies about the “new” working class

By Nancy Hanover, 11 August 2016

A new book by Demos editor Tamara Draut seeks to refurbish the Democratic Party and the trade unions by promoting identity politics.

All Quiet on the Western Front: A generation haunted by war

By Isaac Finn, 5 August 2016

Erich Maria Remarque’s seminal work, All Quiet on the Western Front, deals with a generation thrown into World War I and the confusion and depression of those who survived.

Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War

By Eric London, 26 July 2016

A 2008 book by Professor David Williams provides a mountain of evidence refuting the claim that the recent film Free State of Jones, directed by Gary Ross, presented “a quasi-historical” approach to the American Civil War and social conflict in the Confederacy.

Book Review

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill: Attention to social inequality—in her own way

By Sandy English, 12 July 2016

In her new novel, Gaitskill focuses on a poor Dominican teenager from New York City, the suburban family she lives with during the summer and her experiences relating to a particularly abused horse.

Again on Don DeLillo’s Zero K: How does a novel turn toward social life?

By Eric London, 13 June 2016

Don DeLillo’s latest novel, about the determination of a small group of wealthy individuals to have their bodies cryogenically preserved, is worth our attention.

Night without end: Don DeLillo’s Zero K

By James Brookfield, 7 June 2016

American author Don DeLillo’s 17th novel is a dark story about the determination of a small group of wealthy individuals to have their bodies cryogenically preserved.

Canadian capitalism and the subjugation and decimation of the indigenous population

By Janet Browning, 23 April 2016

As Clearing the Plains demonstrates, the Canadian capitalist state was consolidated through the dispossession of the Native Indian population, through violence, chicanery, and state-sponsored famine.

Stephen Parker’s Bertolt Brecht. A Literary Life—a welcome biography that raises big historical issues

By Sybille Fuchs, 18 April 2016

One of the most talented and influential playwrights of the 20th century, Brecht adapted to Stalinism, with pernicious consequences for his career and work.

German Left Party leader’s plea for nationalism and the free market economy

By Peter Schwarz, 25 March 2016

In her book Wealth without Greed (Reichtum ohne Gier), the leading Left Party politician advocates a strong, protectionist, ethnically and linguistically homogeneous national state.

Book Review

Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See: All the history the novelist cannot see

By Leah Jeresova, 23 March 2016

Doerr’s second novel takes a moralizing, ahistorical view of events during the Second World War.

Novelist Jonathan Franzen’s Purity

By Sandy English, 17 March 2016

Franzen’s highly praised fifth novel is a largely––and carelessly––misanthropic, right-wing work that fails to create complex or plausible characters.

Book Review

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

By Debra Watson, 15 March 2016

By 2011, 15 years after President Clinton’s 1996 welfare “reform,” the number of people in the US living in absolute poverty, defined as an income of less than $2.00 per day, had doubled.

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War

By Eric London, 23 February 2016

According to a recent book by Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon, there is no objective foundation for an end to economic stagnation in the United States.

Twenty-five years since the first Gulf War

Desert Slaughter: The Imperialist War Against Iraq—an enduring contribution to waging war on war

By Eric London, 21 January 2016

In 1991, the Workers League, forerunner of the SEP, published this valuable compendium of articles and statements providing a Marxist analysis of the imperialist war in Iraq and the breakdown of the postwar international order.

Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency

Obama’s place in history: Permanent war and the breakdown of American democracy
Part two

By Eric London, 14 January 2016

A significant 769-page book from New York Times reporter Charlie Savage provides a chilling, detailed insider view of the Obama administration’s pseudo-legal justifications for war and authoritarianism.

John Heartfield: Laughter Is A Devastating Weapon

David King on the famed German photomontage artist

By Jeff Lusanne, 28 December 2015

Laughter is a Devastating Weapon presents 50 full-page images of John Heartfield’s work, revealing the power, impact and problems of the brilliant German artist’s satirical photomontages.

The fate of Zuckerberg’s “gift” to Newark schools

By Fred Mazelis, 14 December 2015

A new book provides a case study on the nature of the “school reform” movement and the attacks on public education.

From Roma refugee to attorney in Germany: Nizaqete Bislimi’s Durch die Wand (“Through the Wall”)

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 18 November 2015

Roma author Nizaqete Bislimi describes how she overcame the obstacle of Germany’s inhumane immigration laws after her escape from Kosovo.

Ted Dawe’s Into the River: A compelling portrait of life for a working-class teenager in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 10 November 2015

The novel has been attacked by fundamentalist Christians, the media and the state because of its realistic depiction of social inequality, racism and class oppression.

The French Republic as killing machine

The Killers of the Republic, by Vincent Nouzille

By Anthony Torres, 9 September 2015

Nouzille’s book lifts the veil on the history of French President François Hollande's “kill list” and the increasing resort to state murder.

Book review

The Devil is Here in These Hills: West Virginia’s Coal Miners and their Battle for Freedom, by James Green

By Tom Mackaman, 18 August 2015

The book’s most important—and timely—contribution is its revelation of the startling level of violence that characterized class relations in an earlier period.

The covert “selling” of anticommunism

The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

By Nancy Hanover, 17 August 2015

The Mighty Wurlitzer is an examination of the CIA’s 1947-67 campaigns against anti-capitalist and socialist thought.

The covert “selling” of anticommunism

The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

Part 2

By Nancy Hanover, 12 August 2015

The Mighty Wurlitzer is an examination of the CIA’s 1947-67 campaigns against anti-capitalist and socialist thought.

The covert “selling” of anticommunism

The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

Part 1

By Nancy Hanover, 11 August 2015

The Mighty Wurlitzer is an examination of the CIA’s 1947-67 campaigns against militant, anti-capitalist and particularly socialist thought.

Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman: More of a moneymaking than a literary event?

By Sandy English, 3 August 2015

Harper Lee’s early draft of a novel, Go Set a Watchman, has sold over a million copies in the United States since its release two weeks ago.

Samuel Kassow’s Who Will Write Our History?

By Clara Weiss, 25 July 2015

Kassow’s history of the Oyneg Shabes underground archive in the Warsaw Ghetto combines remarkable objectivity with a deep compassion for the tragic fate of Warsaw’s Jewry during World War II.

Strange Fruit by Kenan Malik: A polemic against racism and identity politics

By Nancy Hanover, 29 June 2015

The WSWS is reposting a 2010 review of Strange Fruit, a book by British journalist and scientist Kenan Malik, who penned a thoughtful look on the complex biological, social and historical issues involved in the notion of race and racism.

A review of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Part four

By Fred Williams, 4 June 2015

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing.

A review of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Part two

By Fred Williams, 2 June 2015

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing.

A review of Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928: Part one

By Fred Williams, 1 June 2015

Stephen Kotkin’s first volume of a projected three-volume biography of Stalin, published by Penguin Press, is a travesty of historical writing.

Pro-capitalist “anti-capitalism”

A review of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein

By Evan Winters, 4 May 2015

Klein calls for a coalition of various organizations to pressure national governments to implement protectionist policies and environmental and social reforms.

The role of Australian schools in World War I

Soldier Boys: The Militarisation of Australian and New Zealand Schools for World War I

By Margaret Rees and Linda Levin, 25 April 2015

The vast majority of recruits to the Australian military during WWI were the product of a harsh and punitive system of compulsory military training.

Bleakness without respite: Atticus Lish’s novel Preparation for the Next Life

By Sandy English, 24 March 2015

Atticus Lish’s lengthy novel is a love story between an undocumented Chinese immigrant and an American veteran of the Iraq War.

Berlin professor sees Germany as the “taskmaster” of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 13 March 2015

In his new book, Power in the Center, political scientist Herfried Münkler, who has close ties to the political establishment, argues openly for German hegemony in Europe.

The twentieth century was lived in vain: Leonardo Padura’s The Man Who Loved Dogs

By Sandy English, 7 February 2015

Padura’s novel takes a pessimistic, cynical view of history as it describes the life of Ramon Mercader, the assassin of Trotsky.

Guantánamo Diary: A book that needs to be read

By Tom Carter, 6 February 2015

Guantánamo Diary, written by a current inmate of the infamous camp and suppressed by the US government for seven years, is a terrifying exposure of the secret US torture program—and much more.

The Nazi war of annihilation against the Soviet Union: Part two

Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization

By Clara Weiss, 13 January 2015

The volume provides insight into the criminal historical antecedents of the current siege of cities in eastern Ukraine by the Western-installed regime in Kiev, spearheaded by Ukrainian fascist forces.

The Nazi war of annihilation against the Soviet Union: Part one

Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization

By Clara Weiss, 12 January 2015

The volume provides insight into the criminal historical antecedents of the current siege of cities in eastern Ukraine by the Western-installed regime in Kiev, spearheaded by Ukrainian fascist forces.

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

Radley Balko, 2013, PublicAffairs

By Nick Barrickman, 2 December 2014

While arguing that the US is not yet a totalitarian society, Balko acknowledges that “we have entered a police state writ small.”

James Risen on war and the US financial aristocracy

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

By Eric London, 19 November 2014

James Risen’s latest book details crimes committed by the Bush and Obama administrations under the auspices of the “war on terror” and the profits made by corporate interests.

“Give me something to do”

The literary impact and social concerns of American novelist Dave Eggers

By James Brookfield, 3 November 2014

Without wanting to oversimplify, one presumes that the general sympathy with which sufferers are treated in Eggers’ novels is owing in no small measure to his own experiences.

Who Owns Germany? Documenting the widening gulf between rich and poor

By Gustav Kemper, 15 September 2014

Berger’s book reveals startling facts about the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top of German society.

The beginning of modern physics

By Henry Allan and Bryan Dyne, 9 September 2014

David Whitehouse’s Renaissance Genius: Galileo Galilei and His Legacy to Modern Science, provides a human portrait of Galileo, his times and his role in the advancement and popularization of science.

New facts revealed on 2010 ousting of Australian PM

By Nick Beams, 29 August 2014

Paul Kelly’s book effectively demolishes the political fictions manufactured to justify the coup against Kevin Rudd.

Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession

A right-wing critique of Australia’s World War I centenary celebrations

By Richard Phillips, 22 August 2014

A new book calls for increased funds and greater focus on elite military leadership, in order to prepare for new imperialist interventions.

A key moment in the prehistory of the Enlightenment

By Tom Carter, 9 August 2014

Greenblatt’s controversial book The Swerve: How the World Became Modern won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and it has also come under attack as an “anti-religious diatribe.”

Interview with Professor Ian Duncan on Sir Walter Scott: The novel “as a kind of total environment of human life”

By David Walsh, 31 July 2014

Ian Duncan is the author of an introduction to a Penguin Classics edition of Waverley and currently teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sting of the Drone: Richard A. Clarke’s reservations about American war crimes

By Sandy English, 16 July 2014

Richard A. Clarke, former counterterrorism “czar” under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, has written a third novel, about drone warfare.

Edlef Köppen’s Higher Command: An important novel on the First World War

By Clara Weiss, 8 July 2014

The semi-documentary character of this novel largely succeeds in making comprehensible the shattering impact of the war on the consciousness of millions.

A damning exposure of the assault on public education in the US

Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools

By Nancy Hanover, 19 June 2014

Diane Ravitch’s bestseller powerfully indicts the government and corporate interests attacking public education.

The diary of Lena Mukhina: An important document on the Leningrad blockade

Lenas Tagebuch, translated by Lena Gorelik and Gero Fedtke, Munich, 2013

By Clara Weiss, 11 June 2014

Lena’s Diary is an important historical document relating to one of most horrific, although often forgotten, war crimes of German imperialism.

A crude celebration of Australian militarism

By Laura Tiernan, 9 June 2014

Carlton’s account is not based on any serious historical reconstruction and amounts to a glorification of the Australian military in World War I.

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

By Philip Guelpa, 31 May 2014

Human-induced climate change and environmental degradation threaten to cause a sixth mass extinction of life on Earth.

Government-produced book describes WWI as “successful and profitable”

New Zealand and the First World War 1914–1919

By Tom Peters, 24 April 2014

Fenton’s book is part of the government’s WWI centenary program, which is designed to revive militarism and prepare public opinion for future wars.

A Permanent Member of the Family: Responses to trying and frustrating times—short stories by Russell Banks

By Sandy English, 9 April 2014

In recent years, novelist Russell Banks has shifted his focus to upstate New York, where he lives, making it the locale of many of the stories in this interesting new volume.

A review of David Walsh’s The Sky Between the Leaves from Uruguay

“The Permanent Revolution in film criticism”

By Marcelo Arias Souto, 19 February 2014

A comment on WSWS arts editor David Walsh’s The Sky Between the Leaves, written by Marcelo Arias Souto from Uruguay.

Book review

James Cuno’s Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum

By Nancy Hanover, 12 February 2014

The book polemicizes against the postmodern view that museums are mere institutions of ideological control imposing Western and state supremacy.

Murdoch’s Politics—An ex-Stalinist in awe of Rupert Murdoch, Part II

By Dave Hyland, 3 February 2014

A two-part review of Murdoch’s Politics—How one man’s thirst for wealth and power shapes our world, David McKnight, Pluto Press.

Murdoch’s Politics—An ex-Stalinist in awe of Rupert Murdoch, Part I

By Dave Hyland, 1 February 2014

A two-part review of Murdoch’s Politics—How one man’s thirst for wealth and power shapes our world, David McKnight, Pluto Press.

Lives of the Scientists and U.S. Presidents

By Christine Schofelt, 16 October 2013

Two collective biographies released this year aimed at children between the ages of 9 and 15 miss the mark in many ways.

The politics of cultural destruction: The Rape of Europa

By Nancy Hanover, 27 September 2013

The attempt to sell the masterworks of the Detroit Institute of Art makes The Rape of Europa, an account of the systematic looting of the art of conquered Europe by the Nazis, a timely read.

War, fascism and the fate of music in the 20th century

By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2013

An important new book explores the period of musical history brought to an end by fascist barbarism.

Orson Welles and Roger Hill: A Friendship in Three Acts: A remarkable glimpse into cultural history

By David Walsh, 26 July 2013

The new book looks at the relationship between film director Orson Welles and his longtime mentor and friend, Roger Hill, based on conversations and correspondence the pair conducted in the 1980s.

An interview with Todd Tarbox, author of Orson Welles and Roger Hill: A Friendship in Three Acts

By David Walsh, 26 July 2013

David Walsh interviews the grandson of Orson Welles’ life-long friend and mentor, Roger Hill.

Daniel Pinkwater’s Bushman Lives: To become an artist

By Christine Schofelt, 25 June 2013

With this earnest and often hilarious novel for young adults, Daniel Pinkwater encourages exploration, of various kinds.

America’s revolutionary founding document

For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence

By Tom Mackaman, 4 May 2013

A book that seriously considers the impact the Declaration of Independence is most welcome reading in 2013, a year which has seen an intensifying assault on the most basic principles of America’s founding document.

The Green Corn Rebellion: 1935 novel about an episode in the American class struggle

By Vince Ostroweicz, 28 January 2013

William Cunningham’s The Green Corn Rebellion offers a fictionalized account of an August 1917 uprising in Oklahoma against conscription during the First World War.

An exercise in myth-making

Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History by Jenny Hocking

By Nick Beams, 26 November 2012

Whitlam's demise is presented as the downfall of a social reformer, almost totally ignoring the global context in which the 1975 Canberra Coup took place.

Book review

Wolfgang Brenner’s Hubert in Wonderland: A life in the shadow of Stalinism

By Sybille Fuchs, 29 October 2012

The well-documented story of a boy from a small village in Germany’s Saar region, who travels to Moscow at the age of ten in late 1933. He is destined never again to see his homeland or most of his family.

A guest review

Bento’s Sketchbook—John Berger’s “Way of Seeing” Spinoza

By Kamilla Vaski, 20 September 2012

Bento’s Sketchbook is a collection of stories, some of them simply vignettes, always connected to a drawing, either as the source of the story or the result of it. The “Bento” of the book’s title is Baruch or Benedict de Spinoza, the seventeenth century philosopher.

A brief for racial politics

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

By Helen Halyard and Fred Mazelis, 18 September 2012

For Alexander, the driving force of American society is racial “caste” oppression, not the class struggle.

College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair—a satire of contemporary American community colleges

By Charles Bogle, 22 August 2012

College Leadership Crisis: The Philip Dolly Affair is largely successful in satirizing the corporate model so prevalent on American college campuses.

Book review:

A hard life, then Hurricane Katrina: Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones

By Sandy English, 13 August 2012

Jesmyn Ward’s second novel, Salvage the Bones, is an organic and spontaneous portrait of a family living in Mississippi before, during and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A portrait of a “people smuggler”

By Mike Head, 21 July 2012

The People Smuggler puts a human face on those involved in refugee boat voyages, and exposes myths peddled by Australian governments.

The reactionary politics of Grace Lee Boggs

By Shannon Jones, 2 July 2012

In The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century, Detroit’s Grace Lee Boggs advances a political perspective thoroughly hostile to the interests of the working class.

Book Review:

Canadian imperialism’s intervention in the Russian Civil War

By Vic Neufeld, 30 June 2012

Benjamin Isitt has excavated an important, but long-buried historical chapter—the story of the Canadian ruling class’ intervention in the Russian Civil War and the fierce opposition it provoked among Canadian workers, including among the conscript soldiers sent to fight alongside the counter-revolutionary White armies.

Film critic Andrew Sarris 1928-2012: An appreciation

Andrew Sarris and American filmmaking

By David Walsh, 26 June 2012

The World Socialist Web Site is reposting here an article originally published on July 1, 1998. See also the accompanying interview with Andrew Sarris, also from 1998, with a new introduction following his death June 20.

Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman: A valuable, passionate portrait of a great actress

By Charles Bogle, 18 May 2012

Biographer Dan Callahan makes a convincing case for finding the source of Barbara Stanwyck’s acting style and depth in her childhood and adolescence. His analyses of her performances are highly observant and passionately written.

Daniel Woodrell’s The Outlaw Album: Short, honest, brutal and beautiful stories

By Christine Schofelt, 9 March 2012

Set in the small towns and rural areas of Woodrell’s native Missouri and Arkansas, the stories in The Outlaw Album depict troubles of a universal nature.

Jack London’s The Iron Heel: An enduring classic

By Jack Hood, 8 March 2012

In his futuristic novel, The Iron Heel (1908), American author and socialist Jack London chronicled a revolutionary struggle beginning a century ago this year, in 1912.

Chuck Palahniuk’s Damned: Damned if you do

By Christine Schofelt, 4 January 2012

Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) has made a career of trying to be the literary equivalent of a “shock jock.” His latest novel, Damned, takes us on a journey characterized by contrived and banal disgust.

Poetry review: Carol Ann Duffy’s The Christmas Truce

By Jackie Warren, 27 December 2011

The latest work by Carol Ann Duffy, the UK’s Poet Laureate, is a book-length children’s poem that reflects on the moments, during World War One, leading up to the “Christmas Truce” of December 24 and 25, 1914.

That Deadman Dance—an imaginative story about indigenous Australians and European settlers

By Gabriela Zabala, 22 December 2011

Kim Scott’s novel uses poetic and creative lyrical prose, cleverly shifting between the ‘voices’ and consciousness of the European settlers and the Noongar.

Exciting and engaging: Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

By Christine Schofelt, 12 November 2011

In his latest book, written for young people, evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins shows how—and why—to fall in love with reality.