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[11 Dec 2021 | No Comment | 208 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

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 | 50 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 | 46 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 | 24 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 …

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[29 Oct 2021 | No Comment | 35 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 | 43 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 | 40 views ]

The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins
by Peter FitzSimons

Hachette Australia, 549pp, $49.99

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 …

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[9 Oct 2021 | No Comment | 79 views ]

Here is a piece by Caroline Overington in todays Books section of The Weekend Australian.

Professor Ross Fitzgerald, photographed with his co-writer, Ian McFadyen (left), is one of the dearest people in these pages.

I would like to take a little time this week to celebrate the work of a man known to his many friends, including those here at the Books pages, as Redfern Ross.
Professor Ross Fitzgerald.
According to a recent media release, he is about to publish his 43rd book. That’s almost as many books as years I’ve been alive.
The novel …

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[30 Aug 2021 | No Comment | 46 views ]

Memoirs of a Cold War Warrior
by Keith Harvey
Connor Court, 2021, 258 pages, $34.95
This is an important book, particularly for those of us interested in Australian history and politics.
Ever since 1970, when he was a student at my alma mater, Monash University, Keith Harvey has consistently fought for the well-being of workers and for decades staunchly opposed communists and those pro-communists who supported them.
Harvey’s first-hand account of his long-time, courageous involvement in the anti-communist movement, especially in our trade unions, has national implications for the Australian labour movement and …

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[12 Aug 2021 | No Comment | 71 views ]

Australia & the Pacific: A history
By Ian Hoskins
NewSouth Books, 476pp,
Author of a brilliant book about Sydney Harbour, Ian Hoskins has now considerably widened his gaze to write a captivating general history of Australia viewed in a Pacific context.
To do so, he effectively has plundered the huge Pacific collections housed at the State Library of New South Wales. As well, Hoskins has conducted extensive research at the State Library of Queensland, the National Library of Australia and the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney, all of which …

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[3 Aug 2021 | No Comment | 38 views ]

Australia in the Pacific
By Richard Marles
Monash University Publishing, 89pp, $19.95
Political speeches can be self-serving and tedious in the extreme, but one recently captured my attention. In the House of Representatives, deputy opposition leader and Labor member for Corio, Richard Marles gave a moving insight into his life growing up in Geelong and the real and symbolic importance to his childhood of the Corio oil refinery and its twinkling lights.
How many childhood memories do you know that include an oil refinery? I was so touched that I rang Marles’s office …