Reviews of Australian Books #12

Hazel Rowley who wrote biographies of the writers Christina Stead (Australia) and Richard Wright (USA) has now turned her attention to Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Her new book, Tête-à-Tête is reviewed in "The Washington Post" by Michael Dirda. "As she explains, this isn't a full-fledged biography of France's dynamic duo, nor is it a re-examination of their ideas; instead, she resolutely focuses on the men and women with whom the pair fell in love. "The result is an enthralling book, almost a highbrow Francophile edition of US Weekly. But instead of Brad and Jen and Angelina, here we find an ugly, walleyed existentialist philosopher, the elegantly beautiful author of The Second Sex and the Gallic equivalent of a bevy of young starlets who share the bed of one or the other -- or sometimes both. Readers
will turn these pages alternately mesmerized and appalled."

Robert Hanks reviews Geoffrey Robertson's The Tyrannicide Brief in "The Independent." "The fact that he is a spare-time historian does show in The Tyrannicide Brief. He has clearly done his reading around Cooke [the subject of the book and the man who prosecuted Charles I of England in 1649], but the context often has a tossed-off feel, as if rehashed from secondary sources. I imagine academic historians won't take kindly to his lack of objectivity, a determination to put Cooke's actions in the best light, which at times leads into what amounts to special pleading. He says, 'The wonderful thing about writing history, as opposed to writing law, is that you look forward to having your mistakes pointed out'. I'll bet historians of the period will be itching to oblige." The Better
Half is reading this at present.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 17, 2005 3:55 PM.

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