The Whole Intimate Mess

BWB Texts

Book 57
Bridget Williams Books
Free sample

‘I began to pull the threads of my experience back together. Instead of divergent stories about public failure, private torment, and postnatal distress, I started telling myself a united story: the truth, or as close as I could get to it.’

A Rhodes scholar and former Green MP, Holly Walker tells the story of how she became one of New Zealand’s youngest parliamentarians, how motherhood intervened, and how she found solace and solidarity in the writings of women. This short book makes a passionate case for the role of literature in political change and personal resilience, and for the importance of women’s voices in the public sphere.
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About the author

Holly Walker is a writer, reviewer and children's advocate based in Lower Hutt. From 2011 - 2014 she was a Member of Parliament for the Green Party and has previously worked as a public servant, political advisor, and journalist. She holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford undertaken on a Rhodes Scholarship. She is a regular contributor to The Spinoff, where she co-hosts a monthly parenting podcast, and her essays and interviews have been published by The Wireless, Sunday magazine, and in two recent books. She currently works as a Principal Advisor at the Office of the Children's Commissioner. Holly lives in Petone with her partner and three-year-old daughter and is expecting her second child later in 2017.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bridget Williams Books
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Published on
Jun 12, 2017
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Pages
100
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ISBN
9780947518929
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Political Science / World / Australian & Oceanian
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Wendy Davis has had her share of tough fights. Raised by a single mother with a ninth-grade education, Davis began working after school at age fourteen to contribute to the family finances. By the time she was nineteen, she was living in a trailer park with a baby daughter and holding down two jobs. But rather than succumb to the cycle of poverty that threatened to overwhelm her, Davis managed to attend community college and Texas Christian University, graduate from Harvard Law School, and go on to serve nine years on the Fort Worth City Council. She set her sights on the Texas state senate—and in 2008 defeated a longtime GOP incumbent in a race widely considered one of the biggest recent upsets in Texas politics.

But it wasn’t until June 2013 that the rest of America was acquainted with the spirited Texas state senator. Davis became an overnight political sensation and a hero to women’s rights supporters across the country when she single-handedly filibustered Governor Rick Perry’s sweeping bill that aimed to close all but five abortion clinics in her state. During her historic nearly thirteen hours on the floor of the state legislature, Davis wasn’t allowed to eat, drink, sit, use the bathroom, speak off topic, or lean against any furniture. When it was over, President Obama tweeted support to his millions of Twitter followers, and Wendy Davis—with her pink sneakers—was suddenly a household name.

She is now the first Democrat to make a serious run for governor of Texas in two decades, and her personal story is a testament to the enduring power of the American dream and an inspiration to countless women looking for a way out of desperate circumstances. Told in her own refreshingly forthright voice, Forgetting to be Afraid is the exhilarating and deeply moving story behind one of the nation’s brightest young political stars.
Although gossip is disapproved of across the world s societies, it is a prominent feature of sociality, whose role in the construction of society and culture cannot be overestimated. In particular, gossip is central to the enactment of politics: through it people transform difference into inequality and enact or challenge power structures. Based on the author s intimate ethnographic knowledge of Nukulaelae Atoll, Tuvalu, this work uses an analysis of gossip as political action to develop a holistic understanding of a number of disparate themes, including conflict, power, agency, morality, emotion, locality, belief, and gender. It brings together two methodological traditions the microscopic analysis of unelicited interaction and the macroscopic interpretation of social practice that are rarely wedded successfully.

Drawing on a broad range of theoretical resources, Niko Besnier approaches gossip from several angles. A detailed analysis of how Nukulaelae s people structure their gossip interactions demonstrates that this structure reflects and contributes to the atoll s political ideology, which wavers between a staunch egalitarianism and a need for hierarchy. His discussion then turns to narratives of specific events in which gossip played an important role in either enacting egalitarianism or reinforcing inequality. Embedding gossip in a broad range of communicative practices enables Besnier to develop a nuanced analysis of how gossip operates, demonstrating how it allows some to gain power while others suffer because of it. Throughout, he is particularly attentive to the ways in which anthropologists themselves are the subject and object of gossip, making his work a notable contribution to reflexive social science.

Written in an engaging and accessible style, Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics will appeal to students and scholars of political, legal, linguistic, and psychological anthropology; social science methodology; communication, conflict, gender, and globalization studies; and Pacific Islands studies.

Since 1901, thirty different leaders have run the national show. Whether their term was eight days or eighteen years, each prime minister has a story worth sharing.


Edmund Barton united the bickering states in a federation. The unlucky Jimmy Scullin took office days before Wall Street crashed into the Great Depression. John Curtin faced the ultimate challenge of wartime leadership. John Gorton, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating each shook up their parties’ policies so vigorously that none lasted much longer than a single term. Harold Holt spent three decades in parliament, only to disappear while swimming off the coast of Victoria just under two years into his first term. John Howard’s “triple bypass” is the stuff of legend. Julia Gillard overthrew Kevin Rudd and Kevin Rudd overthrew Julia Gillard, thus paving the way for Tony Abbott, who was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull – until he too was toppled, this time by Scott Morrison.


With characteristic wit and expert knowledge, Mungo MacCallum brings the nation’s leaders to life in this updated edition of a classic book.


‘This is the most informative and entertaining book about Australian politics since Don Watson’s Recollections of a Bleeding Heart.’ —The Sydney Morning Herald

 

‘MacCallum captures the essence of each incumbent and his/her prime ministership brilliantly.’ —The Courier-Mail


‘The irrepressible Mungo MacCallum has for decades been one of our most entertaining political journalists. This breezy book is vintage Mungo.’ —The Australian


‘This book is packed with all the charm, wit and expert knowledge readers have come to expect from MacCallum’s writing.’ —Books+Publishing



‘Informative and entertaining.’ —Inside Story

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