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Saturday, 26th July 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

The Failure of Anthropology

  • Rod Lucas
    While there were disparate forms of anthropology presented at the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Royal Commission there was only one which became the measure of veracity and truth. This was a perspective which emerged from the museum as an institution. This was an anthropology which valued collection, appropriation and textual rendering over other forms of knowledge. There is a telling confluence in notions of fact, logic and common sense which made this anthropology the most amenable to legal inquiry. Countering this was a view of anthropological knowledge emerging from the academy - one which ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Tender Hammers (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Andrew Johnson in the April 2004 issue.
    The New Poets series from Five Islands Press has, with the addition of this group of six, now put fifty-four Australian poets into print. The 'new' of the series title might suggest to some that the poets presented are young, and if not previously unpublished at least relatively unknown in print. Neither of these assumptions is correct. All of the poets have appeared, frequently, in print in a variety of Australian and international journals, magazines and daily papers, and while it is irrelevant as a category for judging the merit of the poetry, or much else for that matter, it might also be ... read more.

Mr Ruddock Goes to Geneva (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Sue Bond in the March 2004 issue.
    This book is part of the University of New South Wales Press's Briefings series of inexpensive and accessible works about important issues of our time. Spencer Zifcak ends his short and focused work on Australia's relationship with the United Nations and our government's response to the criticisms of its human rights record with sobering thoughts: 'repudiation of the competence and authority of UN bodies can only be expected to persist and worsen, to the detriment of the international rule of law ---- and ultimately to our common security and our common humanity' (73). The book is impressive ... read more.

Piercing the Ground (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Elizabeth Coleman in the February 2004 issue.
    In Piercing the Ground, Christine Watson suggests that Kutjungka contemporary paintings demand a different form of appreciation from a Western audience: they ask us to 'put aside our distanced, primarily aesthetic and conceptual approach to artworks, and to respond more immediately and viscerally to the communication they are making not only visually, but sonically and through the sense of touch' (p 69). I wouldn't recommend this book for its theory of cross-cultural aesthetics. However, I would recommend it highly for the ethnographic and historical data Watson presents, and its portrayal of ... read more.

The Crisis of Islam: Holy war and unholy terror (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Daniel Fazio in the October 2003 issue.
    Bernard Lewis's The Crisis of Islam, presents a timely analysis of the historical, political, economic and social context of the War on Terror. Lewis, a distinguished Middle Eastern scholar, has written an engaging critique of Islam and the Muslim world's interaction with and perception of the Western world from ancient times to the present. The Bali bombing and the continued instability in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, illustrate the relevance of Lewis's analysis for Australians. If the Western world (including Australia) is to successfully confront Muslim terrorism, Lewis's ... read more.

En Passant (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Stephen Lawrence in the June 2003 issue.
    In grey, the sea forged between my thighs gasping for blue sky... ('Cumberland Island')Zan Ross' poetry is characterised by a wild precision. Part of the pleasure in reading her new book is peeling the rinds of association that spin off the poems in all directions. Like Neo in flight, she flames across her landscapes--as much for dirty fun as from a sense of civic duty. 'En Passant is sex, sex, sex...' writes MTC Cronin -- but it is more than this. The multiplicities, speed-hump syntax and jazz-riffing had me revisiting and re-returning to (and re-arriving at) many of Ross' poems. And ... read more.

The Fuss That Never Ended: The Life and Work of Geoffrey Blainey (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Katrina Gulliver in the February 2005 issue.
    In this collection of essays Blainey's work is assessed from a variety of angles. The contributors -- all but Morag Fraser are academics -- take disparate approaches to Blainey's legacy as a historian and public intellectual. Stuart Macintyre presents an account of Blainey's impact on the discipline of Australian history. This is thoughtful but concludes by clarifying -- if such clarification were necessary -- that Macintyre does not agree with Blainey's views on Asian immigration and describes Blainey as a 'maverick'. Geoffrey Bolton's 'Tyranny of Distance Revisited' offers a ... read more.

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