- nineteen eighty-four: george orwell The real-world capacity of Literature to ‘free’ its readers is explored in this modern psychological thriller.
- who is joseph anton? After the fatwa, many New Yorkers wore ‘I am Salman Rushdie’ badges in solidarity. “I wished I could’ve worn one,” Rushdie writes. Now with Joseph Anton: A Memoir, he does.
- reforming islam? ida lichter With conflicts raging in the Middle East, the role of Islam in society is again under the spotlight. Ida Lichter’s Muslim Women Reformers points to opportunities for equality abroad and closer to home.
- the ‘lesbian’ virus? Richard Brodie’s Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme explores the roots of our deeply held beliefs.
- grandeur, without delusion Can our moral values be explained by evolution? Richard Dawkins on why ‘faith’ may not be a necessary virtue.
- should Australia have a Bill of Rights? Unequal protection, entrenched racism, censorship? One of Australia’s international legal experts makes the case for spelling out what it should mean to be Australian.
- the macho paradox: jackson katz Think you’re an innocent bystander? Think again. Through the ‘bystander approach’ Dr Katz’s The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Man Can Help is a call to action to prevent gender violence.
- song of myself: american essay You are in a harrowing earthquake. You are a top writer struck with cancer. You are single and pregnant in 1962. The Best American Essays 2011 places us on some extraordinary personal journeys.
- the singular ray kurzweil Mid-century cyborgs? Artificial intelligence? Discover avid inventor Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Using combined data, he predicts our exciting tech future. We are ON the corner to massive changes.
- enlightened doubt: christopher hitchens 1949-2011 Following his death, this overview of journalist and author Christopher Hitchens’ work tributes his consistent pursuit of Enlightenment values.
- a new ‘turing test’ 2012 is shaping up as Turing’s year. 100 years after his birth, Alan Turing, WWII codebreaker, mathematician, machine-intelligence genius, is gaining new recognition in film and science literature. A modern movement seeks to remove his ‘criminal’ shadow.
- the long backlash: susan faludi On the 20th anniversary of Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi’s Backlash: The Undeclared War on American Women, review finds the feminist tract more vital than ever.
- celebrating reason: ayaan hirsi ali Author of Infidel speaks up for the rights of women everywhere.
- a ‘Nomad’ standing firm: ayaan hirsi ali Hirsi Ali’s latest book Nomad and the titanic clash of two civilisations.
essays unassailable Christopher Hitchens, editor of The Best American Essays 2010 and the role of the essay in human culture.
- the audio of hope The collected speeches in Yes We Can! Speeches of Barack Obama documents the pre-inauguration rise of a modern leader.