How to fight the toxic culture wars and win

My book review appears in the… Weekend Australian newspaper with the great headline: “What did you do in the culture wars, daddy-o?: As soon as Donald Trump unexpectedly won the White House in 2016, commentators and instant experts claimed it was because of economic anxiety. White, working-class Americans voted for the Republican candidate in greater numbers…

Destroying US democracy from within

My book review in The Australian newspaper: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America By Nancy MacLean Scribe, $35, 368pp As Hurricane Irma was pounding the US, President Donald Trump made a major announcement. He wanted huge tax cuts for the wealthiest members of society. Standing alongside Secretary…

The nightmare of today's Western-backed Rwanda

My book review in The Australian: Rwandan President Paul Kagame is feted across the world, celebrated for rescuing his country after the 1994 genocide and bringing stability to a devastated nation. Kagame’s government has received billions of dollars in aid and weapons for more than 20 years from the US, Israel, Britain and the EU,…

What Somali pirates explain about imperialism

My following book review appears in today’s Weekend Australian newspaper: Imperialism still casts a dark shadow over modern Africa. Former colonial powers France, Britain, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Germany largely spend their aid dollars in nations they used to rule. Oxfam France’s Christian Reboul told The Guardian this makes sense for Paris “because the former…

How and why the "war on drugs" kills millions

My following book review appeared in the Weekend Australian on 28 February: Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs By Johann Hari Bloomsbury, 390pp, $29.99 The numbers are staggering. More than two million American citizens are in prison, about 25 per cent of the world’s incarcerated population. Many are…

The Australian review of "Prisoner X"

My following review appears in yesterday’s Weekend Australian newspaper: Understanding the insular and tribal Melbourne Jewish community has fascinated sociologists for decades. With one of the largest concentrations of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel, proudly Zionist and with strong Jewish day schools, it’s a world that created Ben Zygier, the Australian Mossad agent who committed…

When chocolate isn’t just about eating and enjoying

My following review appears in today’s Weekend Australian newspaper: Chocolate Wars: From Cadbury to Kraft, 200 Years of Sweet Success and Bitter Rivalries, by Deborah Cadbury, Harper Press, 340pp, $35. Deborah Cadbury is a descendant of the Quaker family whose name has become synonymous with chocolate. In this entertaining and insightful book she reveals just…

Behind the evil

My following review of Paul McGeough’s book, Kill Khalid: Mossad’s failed hit…and the rise of Hamas, appears in the March edition of the Australian Literary Review: At a pro-Israel rally in London in January, one Jewish participant compared fighting Hamas terrorism with treating cancer: “When you treat cancer you kill some of the innocent blood…

The calculating chameleon

My following book review appears in today’s Weekend Australian newspaper: The Man Who Pushed America to War By Aram Roston Nation Books, 400pp, $49.95 Ahmed Chalabi, the chameleon-like Iraqi exile who fed bogus intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to the Bush administration and to willing media, told Britain’s The Daily Telegraph in 2004 that…