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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

Hill of Grace (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the April 2005 issue.
    According to some assessments of the 2004 Australian federal election campaign, religion had its greatest impact on the outcome since the sectarian 1950s. The influence of new religions, described variously by critics as Pentecostal, evangelical or fundamentalist, surprised many observers, so perhaps more effort is needed to understand not just the rise of new faiths but the survival of older, smaller ones. Stephen Orr's Hill of Grace is a work of fiction, but like any good novel, it provides insights into general psychology through its characters and addresses themes that elude social ... read more.

Lives in Limbo: Voices of Refugees Under Temporary Protection (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the September 2004 issue.
    In mid 2004, the Australian Government made two decisions that taken at face value, seemed to indicate a softening of policy towards asylum seekers. While previous governments had far from perfect records in relation to our responsibility to refugees, the Howard Government has been severely criticised for exploiting the plight of asylum seekers for political gain. The list of accusations is long but it includes: mandatory detention, turning vessels away, changing the nation's boundaries, compromising Pacific neighbours, contracting out responsibility for remote camps, denying media access to ... read more.

Fatal Attraction: Reflections on the Alliance with the United States (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Patrick Allington in the May 2005 issue.
    This slim book, which the author calls an 'extended essay' (p 1), is a thoughtful commentary on the complexities of Australia's relationship with the US. Although it is written in the shadow of the unilateral invasion of Iraq, Bruce Grant writes with depth about the long term. His thesis of Australia as an ally of the US and as a middle-sized nation-state with a stable political system and a strong economy is cautiously optimistic: We have a need to be co-operative on foreign policy issues with the United States, but no need to be subservient. On the contrary, our promise is that globally ... read more.

Into the Future: The neglect of the long term in Australian politics (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Martin Leet in the May 2005 issue.
    What are our leaders doing about the long-term policy challenges facing the Australian nation? The short answer is: next to nothing. Our leaders are obviously aware of the issues. The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is responsible for these words of wisdom: 'We have got to have a capacity in this country to have a sensible discussion about long-term policy issues without everything being distorted and blown out of the water by misrepresentation'. Easy to say, but neither Howard nor his parliamentary colleagues, including those in the Labor Party, are rectifying the lack of long-term ... read more.

The Literary Lunch: Selected Stories (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Bianca Ferguson in the June 2005 issue.
    Multi-award winning Australian writer Geoffrey Dean proves once and for all, in his collection The Literary Lunch, that he is a writer in the true sense of the word. It is not mere 'stories' he writes, but people, lives, conditions. Dean reveals ordinary lives that are less than ordinary, and, for the majority of us, lives that never will be known first hand. He hints that the things we dismiss as unnecessary, as futile, or worthless are in fact more worthwhile and important than they initially seem. One of my favorite stories is 'Clown/Juggler/Magician and the Literary Barbecue'. It is ... read more.

Border Crossings: words and images (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Lisette Kaleveld in the March 2005 issue.
    A story, poetry, an art exhibition, a journal, a photographic diary: Border Crossings is a multidimensional work and a narrative with soul. It's a book for a rainy afternoon. The author presents his life in fragments and flows, mini-essays, poems and photographs. He lives as a Canadian Australian French English speaker who lacks a permanent soul and is forever at home, and always traveling through both countries and languages. I was especially attracted to the themes. It's about mixing it up -- blood, family history, heartland, tongue -- who doesn't have a patchy tale to tell? It is at best a ... read more.

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