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[19 Feb 2022 | No Comment | 43 views ]

Pillar of strength

 

MARGARET GUILFOYLE

by Anne Henderson

Connor Court, Politics

84pp, $19.95

Reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD
    Dame Margaret Guilfoyle was a trailblazer whose influence is still felt in federal politics. Some may have forgotten how influential she really was and it’s worth noting that she mentored the current Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg.
  Dame Margaret, who died in Melbourne in 2020 aged 94, was a pioneer who came from the conservative side of the Australian political divide.
   Anne Henderson’s brief but satisfying biography points out that, among her many achievements, Margaret Guilfoyle was the first woman from any political …

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[13 Jan 2022 | No Comment | 61 views ]

Stuart Macintyre
The Party – The Communist Party of Australia from heyday to reckoning
Allen & Unwin, $42.50, 512pp, ISBN: 9781760875183
reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD 
    When I was a fifteen-year-old student at Melbourne High School, I tried to join the Communist Party of Australia. One afternoon after school in June 1959, outside the Bryant & May match factory in Richmond, I met a CPA organiser, who I later found was a leading operative, Rex Mortimer. Before our meeting, I’d had a few beers at the local pub.
   After listening for …

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[30 Dec 2021 | No Comment | 47 views ]

 Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen, The Lowest Depths, Hybrid Publishers: Melbourne, $24.95.
Reviewed by Dr Alan Gregory
Graham Green’s term “An Entertainment”, probably best sums up this beautifully produced book.

The Lowest Depths is a very good read, with equal elements of a socio-politico farce and of a spy thriller, plus a touch of sci-fi!

As with its predecessor, The Dizzying Heights, this book featuring Dr Professor Grafton Everest is written by two Melbourne High School Old Boys – Ross Fitzgerald and Ian McFadyen.

Ross Fitzgerald AM is Emeritus Professor of History & Politics at Griffith University. …

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[30 Dec 2021 | No Comment | 79 views ]

ROSS FITZGERALD
History Wars: The Peter Ryan – Manning Clark Controversy
by Doug Munro
ANU Press, 2021,193 pages, $55.  

Who doesn’t love a good literary stoush? But a controversy is even more intriguing if it touches on the History and Culture Wars of relatively recent times.
  The Australian historian Manning Clark (1915-1991) and his long-time publisher at Melbourne University Press, Peter Ryan (1923-2015) are both deceased. Some younger readers might be wondering who these two gents were. But an older demographic especially might like to read my take on what was, in the mid …

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[11 Dec 2021 | No Comment | 228 views ]

Cardinal George Pell: a man of sorrows

Sensationally, in April 2020, all seven judges of the High Court of Australia quashed Pell’s conviction.
Cardinal Pell, The Media Pile-On & Collective Guilt
By Gerard Henderson,
Connor Court Publishing
457pp, $39.95
Reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD

The case of George Pell revealed deep fault lines in Australian society. Some people were convinced of his innocence, but many others wanted him to be guilty.

The trial, retrial, and conviction in December 2018 of Cardinal Pell for historical child sexual abuse of two choirboys at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral that allegedly occurred in …

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[10 Nov 2021 | No Comment | 70 views ]

by Phil Brown, Arts Editor, The Courier-Mail

Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen, The Lowest Depths : The Eighth Book in The Grafton Everest Series
 Hybrid Publishers: Melbourne, pp 271, $24.99

When historian and novelist Ross Fitzgerald enlisted the help of comedian Ian McFadyen as his co-writer an unholy alliance was born. It has blossomed and produced rare fruit … three books in fact. There was Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure, published in 2015, The Dizzying Heights, published in 2019, and now the latest Grafton Everest adventure (or should that be misadventure?), The Lowest Depths is just out. …

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[4 Nov 2021 | No Comment | 54 views ]

By Nell O’Shea Carre

Columnist, Book Reviewer and Emeritus Professor of History & Politics at Griffith University, Ross Fitzgerald AM, is set to launch his 43rd book, The Lowest Depths, tomorrow.
Ross appears regularly on TV and radio, including the ABC, Channel 7 and Sky News, to discuss his work and contemporary Australian state and federal politics.
So how does he find the time to be so prolific?
“I’m a sober alcoholic and an insomniac, so I’ve got plenty of time to read and to write,” he says. 

“I stopped drinking and using on Australia Day 1970. And …

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[3 Nov 2021 | No Comment | 41 views ]

The Lowest Depths by Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen
Hybrid Publishers, Melbourne 2021
Print ISBN: 9781925736748, 1925736741
ISBN: 9781925736755, 192573675X
RRP: $24.99 (pb)
Reviewed by Alan Gregory
   Graham Green’s term “An Entertainment”, probably best sums up this beautifully produced book.
The Lowest Depths is a very good read, with equal elements of a socio-politico farce and of a spy thriller, plus a touch of sci-fi!
As with its predecessor, The Dizzying Heights, this book featuring Dr Professor Grafton Everest is written by two Melbourne High School old boys – Ross Fitzgerald and Ian McFadyen.  Ross Fitzgerald AM is Emeritus Professor of …

Reviews »

[29 Oct 2021 | No Comment | 41 views ]

by Neal Price
Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen
The Lowest Depths : The eighth book in the Grafton Everest series.
Hybrid Publishers: Melbourne, 2021, $24.99 
Co-written with Ian McFadyen, of Comedy Company fame, The Lowest Depths is Professor Ross Fitzgerald’s 43rd book and the eighth in his Grafton Everest series.
Fitzgerald’s latest offering cleverly bookends the seventh Grafton Everest fiction, The Dizzying Heights – published in 2019 by Hybrid Publishers in Melbourne, which is also co-written with McFadyen.
It is unprecedented in Australia, and perhaps in the English-speaking world, for eight political/sexual satires to be written chronologically, following the development …

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[27 Oct 2021 | No Comment | 54 views ]

An exciting update, courtesy of our dear friend, 1968 Fulbright alum Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM (Griffith University):
“I thought that you and the group might be interested to know that my forty-third book, and eighth Grafton Everest adventure, THE LOWEST DEPTHS, will soon be released by my nimble Melbourne-based publisher, Hybrid. This follows my forty-second book, a memoir, FIFTY YEARS SOBER: AN ALCOHOLIC’S JOURNEY, also published by Hybrid.
THE LOWEST DEPTHS is co-written with my long-time friend Ian McFadyen, of Comedy Company fame.
In it, the hapless ex-President of the Republic of Australia, whose beloved wife Janet is …

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[26 Oct 2021 | No Comment | 57 views ]

The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins
by Peter FitzSimons

Hachette Australia, 549pp, $49.99
Reviewed by ROSS FITZGERALD

Many Australians won’t have heard of Sir Hubert Wilkins.

This is despite the fact that Simon Nasht’s fine biography, The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins, Australia’s Unknown Hero was published in 2005 and a chapter in Ian Macfarlane’s Ten Remarkable Australians was devoted to Wilkins. The latter book, about Antipodeans whose achievements had been forgotten, was published in 2019. 
In October, South Australian playwright and filmmaker, Peter Maddern, turned his documentary about Wilkins’ photographs and newsreels – shown at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival – into a fascinating book.
Now Peter FitzSimons and his …