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Friday, 22nd August 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 New Prima Donnas': 'Homegrown' Tasmanian 'Stars' of the 1860s Emma and Clelia Howson

  • Nicole Anae
    Even during the height of his career, Errol Flynn’s reputation was never really overshadowed by his ‘Tasmanian-ness’. In fact, both his reputation and his origins were often integral to his publicity. Around the same era, Merle Oberon’s publicists claimed that the famous actress was Tasmanian-born, specifically, into a wealthy Hobart family. Whether or not this was true, Oberon’s identification as ‘Tasmanian-born’ cast a glowing light on the State’s cultural credibility despite the fact that she lived 10,000 miles away and returned to the island ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

South Australia and Federation (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Bernard Whimpress in the December 2002 issue.
    When I opened this book at a coffee lounge an acquaintance, catching the title, said 'That must be pretty boring!' I admit that despite the range of activities supported by Centenary of Federation funding, the subject of Federation probably passed most Australians by. The book might have been called something more captivating and if the casual reader reached the contents page he or she might have been dissuaded from going further. Three chapters in a book of 418 pages is an unusual structure and author, Associate Professor Peter Howell, takes us only as far as 1914. But it is anything but ... read more.

Swan River Letters Vol 1 (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Anette Bremer in the October 2003 issue.
    Ian Berryman, a rare creature--an independent historian, and self-publisher--deserves to be congratulated for this handsome edition of letters, skilfully edited and beautifully produced. Swan River Letters collects just over 100 letters written by emigrants to the new British Government supported settlement on the Swan River, letters which first appeared in either English or colonial newspapers. As a volume of colonial letters, Swan River Letters serves up the staple stuff of settler literature: first-hand accounts of the voyage out, first impressions of Swan River (typically negative, ... read more.

The New Nuclear Danger: George W Bush's Military-Industrial Complex (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Eliza Matthews in the November 2002 issue.
    Severe criticism of President George W. Bush and his administration were inevitable from the moment he entered the White House, partially because of his controversial ascension to the presidency and also due to his appointment of many of his father's former staff (who have been accused of retaining a cold war mentality) to positions of great influence. Helen Caldicott's book, however, does not seem to be a reasoned, unbiased nor sensible critique of Bush's role in the nuclear regime. Much of the first half focuses on the technical aspects of nuclear weapons rather than the international ... read more.

Johannes Bjelke-Petersen: The Lord's Premier (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Jim Chalmers in the December 2002 issue.
    Central to American political folklore is the story of the 'log cabin' president; the determined, self-made leader who rose from humble rural beginnings, armed himself through education, hard work or both, with the necessary tools for political leadership. These types of characters, the mythology goes, are uniquely suited to the rigours of political life because of their capacity to battle adversity and overcome obstacles threatening the achievement of their goals. In Australia, too, we have leaders who are revered for rising from modest beginnings. Ben Chifley, for example, springs to mind. ... read more.

Into the Blue: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Robert Clarke in the May 2003 issue.
    Captain James Cook had a busy year in 2002 with a number of titles about the eighteenth-century British navigator and explorer being released. Amongst them was Tony Horwitz's Into the Blue, which mixes history and social commentary with a fast flowing and at times very funny travel narrative. Horwitz is a US Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of a number of fine travel books including One More for the Road, Confederates in the Attic, and Bagdhad without Maps. In this latest work he sets off on a journey that takes him to Polynesia and the northwestern coast of north America, and ... read more.

Magpie Mischief (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Strephyn Mappin in the July 2002 issue.
    While growing up in the Western Australian suburb of Dianella, I got to know magpies quite well. The long walk to primary school took me along the edge of a swamp, and during nesting time it was common to be dive-bombed by these black and white missiles. Occasionally, someone would get hit. The resulting wound was small and always treated by the school nurse with a dab of Mercurochrome. Though ridiculous to look at, a purple patch on the skull was worn with pride; proof that you'd run the gauntlet. The school, of course, would contact the council and a ranger would be dispatched to shoot the ... read more.

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