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Wednesday, 23rd April 2014

API Review of Books

Altitude BirdIssue 44
Features reviews by Kathleen Broderick, Linn Miller, Christine Choo, Bill Thorpe, David Ritter, Eve Vincent, Stephanie Bishop, Alison Miles, Richard Kay, Amanda Day, Bernard Whimpress, Mads Clausen, Marion May Campbell, Sylvia Alston, Catie Gilchrist, Eva Chapman, Lucy Dougan, Stephen Lawrence and Nathanael O'Reilly. Click here for more details.


Altitude BirdPopular Music: Practices, Formations and Change - Australian Perspectives
The papers collected here in this special edition of Altitude offer a brief snapshot of popular music research broadly connected with Australia. The essays demonstrate the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used by researchers in the fields of popular music studies and cultural studies to explore themes of popular music practice, formation and change in an Australian context. Click here for more details.

Network Scholars

'War with America': The Trent Affair and the Experience of News in Colonial Australia

  • Peter Putnis
    imageThe European and American conflicts of the nineteenth century were perceived, understood and felt quite differently in the Australian colonies than in Britain. Of course, there was a great commonality of attitude and sentiment between the people of Britain and her colonies on international affairs; yet the communication conditions under which knowledge of these events was attained and public opinion subsequently formed varied widely. Communication constraints peculiar to the colonial situation gave rise to a distinctly colonial experience characterised, among other things, by a high degree of ...
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Network Review of Books

Moebius Trip: Digressions from India's Highways (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Inez Baranay in the October 2004 issue.
    The title tells you that this account of 'Digressions from India's Highways' promises to be self-consciously literary. Moebiustrip is not a foreigner's wide-eyed wandering among the exotic and bizarre otherness of an exceptional nation. Giti Thadani is no stranger to India; she lectures in Delhi and is known for her work on the archaeology of women. Moebiustrip opens with a quotation from the Rig Ved, and two pages of lines of poetry: an image teased by emotion and memory. Enter, the book seems to say, if you are open to an account of a journey that explores states of mind and language as ... read more.

The Ideas Market (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Eve Vincent in the March 2005 issue.
    In this anthology, which examines Australian public intellectual life, University of Queensland media theorist Alan McKee undertakes the tedious but necessary task of assessing a range of definitions of the 'public intellectual'. The one that sticks: 'somebody who thinks in public about issues of common interest'. McKee, like many writers in this anthology, wants to see the definition, or rather designation of 'public intellectual' expanded. His beef is the 'relentless conflation of left-wing with public intellectual'. He urges left-wing intellectuals to accept that right-wing intellectuals ... read more.

Ruxton: A Biography (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Martin Crotty in the December 2004 issue.
    At his retirement function at the Crown Casino in 2002, Bruce Ruxton was farewelled by a large gathering of about 800 people, which included the Governor of Victoria, John Landy, Labor Premier Steve Bracks, and former Liberal Premier, Jeff Kennett. It was Kennett who hit the nail on the head, perhaps better than most, in his summary of Ruxton's contribution to Victorian, and Australian life: 'Bruce is a little man with a very big heart and a very big mouth. And I can say, in the nicest way possible, he has used both very very effectively'. (p 196) Although a relatively brief work that comes ... read more.

Fatal Attraction: Reflections on the Alliance with the United States (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Patrick Allington in the May 2005 issue.
    This slim book, which the author calls an 'extended essay' (p 1), is a thoughtful commentary on the complexities of Australia's relationship with the US. Although it is written in the shadow of the unilateral invasion of Iraq, Bruce Grant writes with depth about the long term. His thesis of Australia as an ally of the US and as a middle-sized nation-state with a stable political system and a strong economy is cautiously optimistic: We have a need to be co-operative on foreign policy issues with the United States, but no need to be subservient. On the contrary, our promise is that globally ... read more.

Recoding Nature: Critical Perspectives on Genetic Engineering (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Colin Sanderson in the June 2004 issue.
    As a young medical researcher in the 1960s with a broad interest in the arts, I read CP Snow's 'The Two Cultures', which detailed the rift he perceived between science and humanities. The two cultures of today are science and pseudoscience, and many of the contributions to this book are in the latter category. The academic tone of the book is established by Mae-Wan Ho in the Foreword. Coming across sweeping statements like 'the much touted embryonic stem cells carry cancer risks and are prone to uncontrollable variation in culture' and 'having been thoroughly discredited by scientific ... read more.

The Cardboard Crown (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Gillian Dooley in the October 2004 issue.
    Martin Boyd's reputation has suffered even more than that of most Australian authors from the vagaries of literary fashion. From being feted overseas and, at least in the 1970s, achieving the ultimate stamp of respectability -- his Difficult Young Man was a set book on the Higher School Certificate syllabus in New South Wales -- he has been largely ignored during the final decades of the twentieth century. I see therefore with interest and pleasure that major new editions of his novels have begun to appear. Boyd's subject matter is no doubt the principal reason for his neglect. By any ... read more.

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