‘Genuine radicalism provides hope. It provokes through a scandalous insistence that life can be otherwise, that we aren’t doomed to economic and environmental decline, and that we can make our future better than our past.’
Why did politicians think an independent slave nation might emerge from northern Queensland? Should we clone thylacines? How did a sociopath spur the first European architecture in Australia? What was ‘bicycle face’ and how did it relate to feminism?
Jeff Sparrow has been described as ‘one of Australia’s most crucial political thinkers’. With restless curiosity his writing takes us from ancient tortoises to the psychology of gun massacres, from queer bushrangers to Enid Blyton, and from atheism to vampires to dachshunds.
Provocations brings together Jeff Sparrow’s best writing from the last two decades, alongside important new work. Challenging, humane and inspiring.
‘Jeff Sparrow’s writing makes me think, laugh and shake my fist at the sky with rage. He explains and critiques and illuminates our messed-up world with moral clarity and humour, allowing even a dum-dum like me to get my head around what the hell capitalism is doing to us all, and why it must be stopped.’ – Tom Ballard
‘Jeff ’s writing is not always comfortable, but it’s absolutely necessary, peering into the cracks too many of us pass by, and revealing them for the chasms they are. But what sets him apart is the unflinching hope he offers at the same time. Jeff shows us the world, our world, can be so much better if only we were more willing to face it as it is now and fight for what it could be. Drench yourself in his words and find your cause.’ – Amy Remeikis
‘Jeff Sparrow has a profoundly thought-provoking way of presenting the truth.’ – Thomas Mayor
‘Reading Jeff Sparrow is always like having a conversation with the smartest person in the room. He’s essential.’ – Chloe Hooper
‘Jeff Sparrow is a critical voice for justice in an increasingly sparse field. As mainstream journalism teeters between commercial clickbait and dreary stenography, take a moment to celebrate the determined independence that he brings to his work. This is a timely retrospective, balancing a sharp eye for domestic political dynamics with an internationalist worldview; fresh, fierce and uncompromising.’ – Scott Ludlam
‘Sparrow is the most effective and consistent communicator of left-wing thought to a mainstream Australian audience of the past twenty years.’ – Sydney Review of Books
‘Sparrow is one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals.’ – SALIFE
‘He’s one of Australia’s most crucial political thinkers.’ – Saturday Paper
'His writing contains multitudes and yet is so clear that it can be read not only with ease but with pleasure.' – Miriam Cosic, The Saturday Paper
'Thickly studded with quotations and historical examples, and the pieces are concentrated marvels of research.' — Anwen Crawford, Australian Book Review
'There is no question that Sparrow is not just one of the best writers but one of the best read writers in the country today... consider me provoked.' — Kurt Johnston, the Sydney Morning Herald