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Words & Ideas > Essays

Author:Christopher Hitchens
Series:Best American Essays (Paperback)

The provocative and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens takes the helm of the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this perennial favorite that is "reliable and yet still surprising--the best of the best" ("Kirkus Reviews").

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Dispatches from the world of conflict, on the battlefield and off of it. Featuring Wendell Steavenson reporting from Beirut on the Israeli bombardment, Jame Buchan on the Trident base in Scotland, Geoff Dyer on everything he learned from war films, Jasmina Tesanovic on the death squads of Serbia and Brian Thompson on his m... read more

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When Joe Bageant returned to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, he rediscovered his redneck roots: 'the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks' . But he soon realised that these were the very people who had carried George W. Bush to victory.

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Author:Julianne Schultz
Series:Griffith Review

Food prices are rising, droughts and storms are affecting farmers and the global model of food production is under challenge. Policies to reduce the impact of climate change will have a profound impact on food supply around the world. Food Chain explores the dimension of this looming problem, and our complex relationship with food.

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For more than ten years, typographer and illustrator Peter Campbell has been the resident art critic for the London Review of Books, as well as serving as its resident designer since it began in 1979. Not easily characterized in professional terms, Campbell's writing thoughtful, jargon-free, and notably inquisitive about tech... read more

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In the March edition of Meanjin, Lorin Clarke investigates whether the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is as funny as it could be, Kate Holden considers the relationship between sex work and feminism, Laurie Steed tells us why YouTube is no longer the bad arse of the digital world, and many others.

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September 11 2001 marked a change in Australian attitudes towards immigrants. The spotlight was on Muslims. This collection of thought-provoking essays looks at multiculturalism's successes and failures in providing a secure, well-integrated, free and fair Australia. Philosopher and writer Raimond Gaita has gathered some of A... read more

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Turning Back the Clock is a brilliant collection of essays by one of the leading intellectuals of our time. After the Cold War, the 'Hot War' has made its comeback in Afghanistan and Iraq. Exhuming Kipling's "Great Game", we have gone back to the clash between Islam and Christianity. The ghost of the Yellow Peril has been... read more

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In The Best Australian Essays 2011, Ramona Koval compiles a diverse and invigorating collection of the year's best non-fiction. Describing world-altering events as well as moments of introspection, and ranging from the provocative to the life affirming, these illuminating essays are certain to stimulate conversation for years... read more

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Author:Edwidge Danticat
Series:Best American Essays (Paperback)

Edited by the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Edwidge Danticat, author of "Brother, I Am Dying, " this classic collection of essays showcases the year's best.

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'Sometimes when you're reading Neal Stephenson, he doesn't just seem like one of the best novelists writing in English right now; he seems like the only one.' Time One of the most talented and creative authors working today, Neal Stephenson is renowned for his exceptional novels - works colossal in vision and mind-boggling in... read more

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"New York Times" bestselling author Nicholson Baker, "who writes like no one else in America" ("Newsweek"), has assembled his best nonfiction writing over the last fifteen years, a trove of original and provocative pieces.
"The Way the World Works," Nicholson Baker's second essay collection, ranges over the map of life ... read more

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Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the "Guardian" and "GQ America") are the best of his adventures. Always intrigued by our... read more

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Following "The Broken Estate", "The Irresponsible Self", and "How Fiction Works" - books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation - "The Fun Stuff" confirms Wood's pre-eminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the contemporary novel. In twenty-three passionate, sparkling... read more

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UPDATED EDITION INCLUDING TWO EXTRA STORIES Jon Ronson has been on patrol with America's real-life superheroes and to a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams. He's met a man who tried to split the atom in his kitchen and asked a conscious robot if she's got a soul. Fascinated by madness, strange behaviour a... read more

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One of America's leading humorists and author of the bestseller "Closing Time" examines his own obsession with books Joe Queenan became a voracious reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. In the years since then he has dedicated himself to an assortment of idiosyncratic reading ... read more

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The 700-year history of the novel in English defies straightforward telling. Geographically and culturally boundless, with contributions from Great Britain, Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, India, the Caribbean, and Southern Africa; influenced by great novelists working in other languages; and encompassing a range of genr... read more

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Back in 1998, internet humor consisted of Hamsterdance.com and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. In 2003, you could watch Homestar Runner, or you could read McSweeney's Internet Tendency. In 2008, it was LOLcatz or McSweeney's Internet Tendency. For 15 years McSweeney's been the choice for web-based humorous distraction. Lives h... read more

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In this timely Quarterly Essay, Andrew Charlton demolishes some myths about Australia's long boom. Around 2000 Australia's economy became tied to the supercharged rise of China. We had the good fortune to have exactly the resources it wanted.

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'Literary criticism, as I attempt to practice it', writes Harold Bloom in "The Anatomy of Influence", 'is in the first place literary, that is to say, personal and passionate'. For more than half a century, Bloom has shared his profound knowledge of the written word with students and readers. In this, his most comprehensive a... read more

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