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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

Turning points: For whom the polls told

  • Murray Goot
    In the first few months of 2001 the Government appeared to be in terminal trouble: pollsters reported that its standing was at record lows, punters thought it unlikely to win and political commentators were inclined to write it off. As the Prime Minister put it, after the election, "seven or eight months ago", the Government was "gone for all money" (Farr 2002, 132). Before the year's end, however, the election was to produce a result very different from that which most had imagined. The Government was not only back in office but with an increased majority and Labor was not ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

White Out: How Politics is Killing Black Australia (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the April 2003 issue.
    Rosemary Neill begins with the plain but uncomfortable facts of Aboriginal disadvantage and seeks to contribute to the search for real solutions. By international comparisons, the gap between life expectancy for indigenous and non-indigenous people in Australia is shamefully high. Neill's central argument is that proposed remedies have failed because they have been formulated from a debate that ignores objective evidence. Neill does not claim to know the answers herself but argues that only when the protagonists admit the narrowness of their own positions will they find the common ground ... read more.

Rabbit-Proof Fence: the screenplay (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Hughes-d'Aeth in the June 2003 issue.
    The release of Rabbit Proof Fence (Miramax, 2001), depicting the 1,600 kilometre journey of three Aboriginal girls from the Pilbara, was a significant cultural event in Australia.  For better or for worse the film will stand for the forseeable future as the paradigmatic rendition of what Bain Attwood has termed 'the stolen generations narrative'.  While not a blockbuster, the film has been well patronised and has enjoyed long showing periods at Australian cinemas.  It is due for North American release next month (August 2002).  The number of people who go and see the film will exceed by ... read more.

How Simone de Beauvoir died in Australia (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Christine Owen in the October 2002 issue.
    A beguiling title backed up by sharp, intelligent observations of cultural political life in Australia in the 1990s was my first impression of this thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking set of stories and essays by Sylvia Lawson, who is also the author of The Archibald Paradox, a study of the Sydney Bulletin and its first editor. Writing about the Australian reception of such events as the death of Simone de Beauvoir, French feminist philosopher and journalist, and of Raymond Williams, English academic and cultural critic, Lawson, like these public intellectuals, crosses the boundaries ... read more.

Fever Hospital: A History of Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Maggie Tonkin in the March 2003 issue.
    Fever Hospital ought to be read by all those opposed to immunisation, for this history of Australia's foremost infectious diseases hospital reveals much about the terrible history of infectious disease in Australia. Under its original name of Queen's Memorial Infectious Disease Hospital, Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital was opened in 1904 as a result of a public and municipal fund raising effort. The impetus for the establishment of an infectious diseases hospital came from the epidemics of diphtheria, typhoid, scarlet fever and other infectious diseases that had swept the Port Phillip ... read more.

The Naked Fish: An Autobiography of Belief (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Iris Lowe in the July 2003 issue.
    The subtitle of this book hooked me, to use the fish metaphor of the title. To see one's life as a journey of some kind is a common autobiographical strategy, and infinitely preferable to a pastiche of events. In this case it is a journey of religious belief, and having traveled a rather circuitous path of belief myself, I was intrigued to see what questions and answers shaped this particular journey. Ian Hansen traces his first beliefs back to his upbringing as a Baptist 'preacher's kid' in the 1930s . By his teens he made his own profession of faith, and by his early twenties began to ... read more.

Australia's Democracy: A Short History (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Paul A Pickering in the November 2002 issue.
    In 1877 an Australian cricket eleven defeated an English side for the first time; in 1897-8 the Australian team won its first Test Series, beating the 'Poms' 4-1. The fact that there was a national sporting team before there was a nation is well known, but it gains a new significance in John Hirst's short history of Australian democracy. As Hirst points out, there was far greater public interest in the Test Series than in the debates about Federation that were taking place at the same time. Hirst's book explores a conundrum: why does a nation of 'natural' democrats who live in one of the ... read more.

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