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Articles Archive for June 2010

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[19 Jun 2010 | Comments Off on Tassie’s footy fans deserve an AFL team | 1,026 views ]

Ross Fitzgerald also asks Why is the AFL so desperate for a second team from Sydney.
THIS week we had rugby league’s shameful State of Origin, and now I’m looking forward to an AFL contest that promises to be infinitely more captivating.
Sydney’s favourite AFL team, the Swans, plays my team, Collingwood, at ANZ Stadium next Saturday night in what will be a crucial match for their chances of making the finals.
Thus all AFL attention will be on the clash between the red and whites and the mighty Magpies, played in …

Books »

[12 Jun 2010 | 3 Comments | 3,557 views ]
Book launch: Alan (“The Red Fox”) Reid

You may be interested to know that this fine film-noir front cover photograph of ALAN (“THE RED FOX”) REID almost never saw the light of day because two influential people, who shall remain nameless, did not want to see in 2010 a photo of someone smoking a cigarette! How about that? Yet sadly, although he stopped drinking and gambling, Reid never stopped smoking, and eventually died of lung and stomach cancer.
Speaking of photos, in our biography of Alan Reid the mystery of the ALP’s Faceless Men story and photos has …

Books »

[10 Jun 2010 | One Comment | 2,557 views ]
Alan Reid’s life, a history of Oz political journalism

READING a biography of the controversial and legendary Australian journalist Alan Reid, it’s hard not to be nostalgic for the days when journos chain-smoked at their desks, wore hats, and got their best tips over the poker table.
Reid, who died in 1987 after covering 20 federal elections, is worthy of a book as he combined some of the best and worst aspects of political journalism. Not only was he a superb chronicler of the news, he was also a player, using his contacts to shape the events themselves.
At the beginning …

Reviews »

[6 Jun 2010 | Comments Off on Emerald City’s immortal subversives | 1,236 views ]

RADICAL Sydney is primarily about remembering and restoring some of the most radical and unruly elements to the history of Australia’s largest and most demographically diverse city.
As the introduction to this superbly illustrated book explains, it discovers “the street corners where they spoke, their union offices and lecture halls, the pubs and cafes in which they socialised”, and so much more.
A pivotal chapter concerns Australia’s famous short-story writer and poet Henry Lawson (1867-1922) and his mother, Louisa Lawson, one of this nation’s most important feminist authors and longstanding editor …

Columns »

[5 Jun 2010 | 4 Comments | 2,318 views ]

DO we really need regional universities? Surely Australians could access all the teaching and research they need online.
True, if you think of teaching and research as a simple commodity, such as wheat or coal, a commodity to be traded in competitive markets.
This is largely how tertiary education has been treated by recent Coalition and Labor governments. Funding cuts have forced universities to behave like big businesses, where vice-chancellors are now little more than overpaid chief executives who spend virtually all their time fund-raising.
But there are never enough funds, particularly for …

Reviews »

[3 Jun 2010 | Comments Off on What’s the big idea? We’re still not sure. | 1,220 views ]

JAMES Walter, who co-edited with Brian Heads the 1988 study Intellectual Movements and Australian Society, has produced a valuable account of the politics of ideas in Australia. Walter, professor of political science at Monash University, argues at the outset that in endeavouring to understand politics, “nothing is more important . . . than recognising that it deals in ideas”.
This is the fundamental thesis of What were They Thinking? It is an argument that Walter and his research assistant Tod Moore (who wrote two key chapters) advance with skill and clarity. …

Books »

[2 Jun 2010 | Comments Off on Fox among the roosters | 1,472 views ]
Fox among the roosters

LIKE many journalists of his generation, Alan Reid ached to write a novel. He wasn’t thinking of something twee and literary, something that might be praised for its light touches and teasing ambiguities. He envisioned a roman a clef about contemporary political life, blunt and boisterous, the whiff of the abattoir strong in the nostrils, something that would get people talking and cash registers tinkling, as Frank Hardy’s Power Without Glory had done a few years earlier. It would be loaded with conspiracies. It had to be. Reid loved a …