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Tuesday, 29th 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

Antagonism as an Art Form: Brian Penton and the Politics of Provocation

  • Patrick Buckridge
    imageDavid McNicoll — not one of Australia’s better-known stirrers — tells the story of a dinner party at Frank Packer’s Sydney home in 1946 with Brian Penton, then editor of the Daily Telegraph, and other Consolidated Press management staff, at which the guest of honour was Randolph, the unpleasant son of Winston Churchill. Seated on either side of their hostess, Penton and Churchill locked horns halfway through the meal over a reference by Penton to the ‘decline of Britain’:Randolph bristled and reddened. “What the hell do you mean, the decline of ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Tao of Shepherding (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Christine Choo in the October 2005 issue.
    Chinese in Australia have been the subject of comment for almost as long as they have been in this country. The trickle of Chinese into Australia grew into a flood when gold was discovered in Eastern Australia. Sojourners came here both freely and as forced labour -- indentured coolie labour -- with the view to making money then returning to the home country where they could tell tales of the Gold Mountain where fortunes were to be made. The opportunity to escape poverty, famine, family troubles and debtors contributed to the push-factors in the movement of Chinese to countries like Australia ... read more.

Someone Else's Country: A fearless, funny and profoundly moving Australian story (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Jeannie Herbert in the October 2005 issue.
    Fast moving, full of action and energy, Someone Else's Country enables the reader to get a 'taste of life' as it really is for many Indigenous Australians. The author has chosen to structure the book using short chapters and a sparse, almost staccato style of writing, providing a series of brief glimpses into modern Aboriginal lifestyles. The ease of reading enables the reader to make rapid progress into the book. Initially there is an impression of skimming across the surface of life, not unlike the way in which many of us increasingly live our lives -- our knowledge of others being gleaned ... read more.

Reconciliations (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Anna Trembath in the November 2005 issue.
    Reconciliation has struggled to retain a consistent place in Australian public discourse. When the question of reconciliation has dominated the recent public agenda, there has seemingly been little to celebrate: the death of an Indigenous youth igniting some communities, other communities entering into controversial 'deals' with governance bodies, extreme levels of poverty and lack of material resources continuously exposed, white historians battling over the truth of Australia's colonial past, and an Indigenous leader walking for hundreds of kilometres to discuss reconciliation with the Prime ... read more.

History, Historians and Autobiography (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Susan Tridgell in the July 2005 issue.
    It's a rare and delightful experience to read a perfect book. This is especially the case with academic books -- even the most impressive normally generates a wish to argue with it. Yet Jeremy Popkin, despite being a newcomer to the field of life writing (he is well-known as a historian) has managed to achieve this miracle. The only 'but' he manages to generate in my mind is to write so fascinatingly about his chosen subject -- the autobiographies of historians -- that I felt immediately impelled to go and read even the autobiographies he warns are dull.This is one of the central and ... read more.

The Pursuit of Wonder: How Australia's landscape was explored, nature discovered and tourism unleashed (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Paul Genoni in the January 2006 issue.
    Recent years have witnessed a growing academic interest in the history of Australian tourism and leisure travel. Significant studies have included Jim Davidson and Peter Spearitt's Holiday Business: Tourism in Australia since 1870 (2000) and Richard White's On Holidays: A History of Getting Away in Australia (2005); while other contributions such as Leone Huntsman's Sand in our Souls: The Beach in Australian History (2001) have examined particular sites of Australian recreation and leisure. The same period has also seen the emergence in Australian universities of departments dedicated to ... read more.

Trade Secrets: Australian actors and their craft (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Donald Pulford in the May 2006 issue.
    What actors actually do is pretty much a mystery to most of us, even though we encounter their work every day. There has to be more to it than just learning lines and moves and making them seem real because pretty much anyone could do that. And why are some actors so much better than others? Added to the oddness is that actors choose to confront public humiliation, one of our greatest fears. Terence Crawford provides insider views of the mysterious art in Trade Secrets: Australian actors and their craft. Though Peter O'Toole apparently considered acting 'farting about in disguises', the 200 ... read more.

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