The Highway Is for Gamblers: on a life spent fighting for human liberation

Type
Review
Category
Activism
History

Everyone’s story is an interesting whole in its own right, and this book is what Tom has made of his – but it also captures the rich political history of the past six decades. The German student movement, Berkeley radicalism, the Whitlam sacking, the Portuguese and Nicaraguan Revolutions, the Lebanese civil war, dissidence in the Eastern bloc, labour struggles in South Korea, the fall of Suharto – many such episodes are told as eyewitness accounts, amid Tom’s reflections on building the International Socialist tradition in Australia.

Tom O'Lincoln
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Type
Article
Category
Publishing
Writing

Death of the editor

Among the various portentous ‘deaths’ that seem to be befalling contemporary culture – the death of the ‘manly man’, the death of ‘Australian values’, the death of the personal essay – is the lesser-known apparent death of the editor. In a 2008 long-read for Essays in Criticism, Harvard University’s J Stephen Murphy lamented the slow demise of my long-beloved profession, largely as a result of the changes to the publishing landscape wrought by new media and their ostensible democratisation of writing and literature.

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Type
Article
Category
Irony
Philosophy

Language and terror: Remembering Richard Rorty

In such circumstances, the eminently sensible voice of Richard Rorty is sorely missed. Rorty, who died in 2007, was one of our most compassionate philosophers. You can gauge his worth by the fact that he seemed to get under the skin of just about everybody, occupying a transient between-space in a manner off-putting to commentators who spend careers building conceptual fortresses behind which to protect their worldview.