Books, Featured »

[21 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 104 views ]

Professor Ross Ross Fitzgerald’s 42nd book, a memoir, FIFTY YEARS SOBER : AN ALCOHOLIC’S JOURNEY (Hybrid Publishers: Melbourne, $ 27.50) is now available.

FIFTY YEARS SOBER by Ross Fitzgerald can be purchased as a paperback and an e-book direct from Hybrid Publishers in Melbourne, and from the distributor New Holland.
Best wishes, Professor Ross Fitzgerald AM

Reviews »

[20 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 24 views ]

Missing William Tyrrell
By Caroline Overington. HarperCollins, 304pp, $34.99
In ‘Missing William Tyrrell’, journalist and author Caroline Overington provides a series of compelling questions and answers regarding the most infamous recent case of a child who seems to have simply vanished. In doing so, she has produced her best book yet. The disappearance of three-year-old William, on the morning of September 12, 2014, from a quiet street in the mid-north-coast NSW village of Kendall is one of Australia’s most baffling and harrowing mysteries.

The boy was last seen playing in …

Reviews »

[20 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 30 views ]

Here is the text of  Phil Brown’s review, which accompanies a photo of the books’ front cover.

By Ross Fitzgerald
Hybrid Publishers:Melbourne , $27.50
by Phil Brown.

First a disclaimer: the author is a friend of mine and I get a mention in the book.
Now that’s out of the way I want to recommend this updated version of Ross Fitzgerald’s entertaining and sobering (pardon the pun) memoir.

It’s a cautionary and edifying tale of a life lived sober, mostly.

The author’s battle with alcoholism and his long sobriety thanks to …

Columns »

[16 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 27 views ]

 This cautionary tale of corruption and violence should be told again and again
Tuesday is Saint Patrick’s Day, which is an occasion to celebrate — but it also marks one of the most infamous incidents in Australian political history.

On March 17, 1948, in Brisbane, Australia’s first and only Communist Party MP,  Frederick (“Fred”) Woolnough Paterson, was savagely bashed by a plainclothes ­policeman — almost certainly on the direct orders of authoritarian ALP premier Edward Michael (“Ned”) Hanlon.
This brutal attack occurred while Paterson was legally observing a march of striking …

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[14 Mar 2020 | No Comment | 15 views ]

Book Review
Party Animals: The Secret History of a Labor Fiasco
By Samantha Maiden.Viking, 314pp, $34.99
Samantha Maiden is the latest of four journalists — the other three being Niki Savva, David Crowe and Aaron Patrick — who have written books about the 2019 federal election.

Like Bill Shorten and most of his frontbench, Savva and Crowe had assumed the ALP was a shoo-in. Hence after the May 18 result each had to change the title of their books.
Instead of ‘Highway to Hell: The Coup that Destroyed ­Malcolm Turnbull and Left the …

Columns »

[19 Feb 2020 | No Comment | 23 views ]


In ten years’ time, what will people say about the Morrison government? The Coalition’s deepest problem is not that the National Party has become a circus; it’s that the government itself has no major mission to carry it through the inevitable storms of parliamentary politics.
The Morrison government’s basic problem is actually the same one that characterised the Rudd-Gillard government. Apart from “more action” on climate change – which Kevin Rudd eventually squibbed and Julia Gillard turned into the electorally disastrous carbon tax – what was the point of …

Columns »

[7 Feb 2020 | No Comment | 285 views ]

Politicians must judge how much voters will sacrifice to achieve lower emissions.
In recent days, climate change policy has divided the Nationals as much as it divides the Liberals.

But the question “Do you believe in climate change?” is a curious one because it suggests that change in climate is not a matter of fact but a matter of faith.
The recent bushfire disasters in Australia have been taken by many to confirm that the climate is indeed changing and have prompted more urgent demands that the government do much more to …

Columns »

[27 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 19 views ]

From humble beginnings, Alcoholics Anonymous has saved millions of lives
Yesterday, on Australia Day, I was sober for 50 years.

Since I stopped drinking and drugging on January 26, 1970, Alcoholics Anonymous has continued to teach me that for an alcoholic one drink is too many and 100 is not enough.
Indeed, the trick for an alcoholic like me is not to pick up the first drink, and to keep attending AA meetings.
The stark reality is if I hadn’t stopped drinking and drugging aged 25, I wouldn’t have made 26.
Yet had …

Reviews »

[25 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 30 views ]

The Basis of Everything: Rutherford, Oliphant and the Coming of the Atomic Bomb
By Andrew Ramsey. HarperCollins, 384pp, $39.99
Probing the secrets of the universe sounds like a noble endeavour but when the result is a world armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons it makes you wonder. This book tells the compelling story of two friends, two devoted scientists born and educated at opposite ends of the British Empire, who helped bring humanity to the brink, albeit unknowingly at first. These intellectual heavyweights were Ernest Rutherford, the …

Columns »

[20 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 19 views ]


Joe Hockey didn’t get the credit he deserved as a reforming treasurer so it’s good that he’s being credited as an outstanding ambassador to the US.

At his farewell party in Washington there were glowing tributes from former prime minister Tony Abbott, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Australian businessman Anthony Pratt. All said Hockey not only had done a fine job over 25 years of public life but was one of the most likeable and straightforward of people.
Australia has always appreciated that Washington is one of those …

Columns »

[7 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 21 views ]

Long after the fires are out we’re going to need these valuable Asian neighbours
It’s understandable that Scott Morrison cancelled his trip to India and Japan after the abuse he received over his holiday in Hawaii. But it’s an error of judgment. There’s a world of difference between an overseas holiday taken while most people are still working and when there’s a bushfire crisis, and, on the other hand, an official trip to deepen co-operation with two key regional partners. Provided the Prime Minister had fully announced the government’s response …