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Wednesday, 16th 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

Villains, Victims and Heroes: Contested Memory and the British Nuclear Tests in Australia

  • Dieter Michel
    imageOn 16 July 1984, a Royal Commission was formally established under Justice James McClelland to investigate the effects of British nuclear weapons tests on the Australian environment and population. As a consequence, Australian and British official memories regarding this historical episode were decisively severed. The conclusions of the McClelland Royal Commission — which came to represent the Australian government’s version — presented, as one commentator noted, ‘a catalogue of official deception and secrecy, cynicism about the effects on the Aboriginal lifestyle and ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Sacred Places: War Memorials in the Australian Landscape (2005)

  • imageReviewed by John Stephens in the August 2005 issue.
    By any standard, Sacred Places: War Memorials in the Australian Landscape is an impressive achievement. It was first published and now resurfaces at times when public and scholarly interest in commemoration is high. When Inglis started his survey of war memorials in 1983, war memorialisation and Anzac day commemoration was waning but had vigorously re-emerged by 1998 when the book was published. Recent interest in remembrance is part of 'the memory boom' as observed by Jay Winter which is a world wide phenomenon at the heart of many commemorative projects, seeking to provide a point of ... read more.

Poetry and Philosophy from Homer to Rousseau: Romantic souls, realist lives (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Susan Tridgell in the July 2005 issue.
    Despite the presence of Rousseau in the title, this is not a book for those who are devoted to Romantic literature (or indeed for romantics more generally). The idealistic impulse of Romanticism, the wish to dedicate oneself wholly to a single idea (or another person) comes under sustained fire in this monograph. Remarkably, Haines manages to trace this Romantic notion back to what he sees as its origins in Plato. In some ways this book is an excoriation of the main lines of thought in Western literature and philosophy, a tale of complete cultural loss. Redeeming it from this ... read more.

The House at Number 10 (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Sylvia Alston in the January 2006 issue.
    I was drawn to Dorothy Johnston's latest book, The House at Number 10, not only because it's set in Canberra, a place I've called home for almost 20 years, but because it explores Canberra's seedier side and debunks the myth that it's a cold, soulless place. Canberra is Australia's capital city; it's also the porn capital. Not only can visitors to Canberra take in its iconic attractions -- Parliament House (both old and new), the Institute of Sport, the Australian War Memorial, and the National Gallery -- they can also pay a visit to the adult establishments operating in the industrial areas ... read more.

The Archaeology of Contact in Settler Societies (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Vicki Grieves in the January 2006 issue.
    As an historian I have long admired the work of archaeologists whose quest for knowledge of the past leads them to directly reclaim the evidence of human occupation and activity from the earth itself. To be so engaged in finding evidence from the layers of earth, where the fragments of stone, china, glass, bone and metal not only fall but slowly sink, and to face the challenge of piecing together the stories of those who left this evidence behind, is truly admirable. It is also invaluable material for the historian who is all the richer for being informed by the archaeologists' discoveries ... read more.

The Best Australian Poetry 2005 (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Gary Hayes in the issue.
    Also reviewed: Les Murray (ed.), The Best Australian Poems 2005, Black Inc, 2005, pp 184, pb $24.95 Before beginning this review of last year's sibling anthologies, (fraternal, unidentical twins) each proposing to present a snapshot of the best of the year's poems, I found it salutary to look at the American equivalent. At, in the first instance The Best American Poetry of 2004. It could have been the UK equivalents equally well. And one remarks straight away on the continuing smoke and occasional fire of the battle between a more 'open' -- sometimes termed 'accessible' or 'populist' ... read more.

A Lifetime in Conservative Politics: Political memoirs of Sir Joseph Carruthers (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Amanda Day in the July 2006 issue.
    In 2006 New South Wales is celebrating 150 years of responsible government and Michael Hogan's edited memoirs of Sir Joseph Carruthers is another offering from UNSW Press that has commemorated the people who developed representative democracy and governance in NSW. Politics, sport, free trade, arbitration and federalism are key features of Carruthers' memoirs and serve to provide a snapshot of a time that Hogan suggests 'should be read as a document of the early 1930s'. (p xii) The interaction of politics, personal life and Carruthers' desire to leave manuscripts that reflect positively on ... read more.

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