Taking a historical perspective, the authors grapple with the politics of social policy in the 1990s. Globalization and the concomitant corporate mobility affect government's ability to regulate the distribution of wealth, while the increasing diversity of the population puts increasingly complex demands on an already overstressed system.
Yet in the face of these constraints, the system still endures and is far from irrelevant. Some social programs have been dismantled, but the government has organized and maintained others. Greater democratization of welfare programs and social policy agencies could make the system thrive again. Changing Politics provides the much-needed groundwork for students and policy makers while also proposing real solutions for the future.
The Big Screen is not another history of the movies. Rather, it is a wide-ranging narrative about the movies and their signal role in modern life. At first, film was a waking dream, the gift of appearance delivered for a nickel to huddled masses sitting in the dark. But soon, and abruptly, movies began transforming our societies and our perceptions of the world. The celebrated film authority David Thomson takes us around the globe, through time, and across many media—moving from Eadweard Muybridge to Steve Jobs, from Sunrise to I Love Lucy, from John Wayne to George Clooney, from television commercials to streaming video—to tell the complex, gripping, paradoxical story of the movies. He tracks the ways we were initially enchanted by movies as imitations of life—the stories, the stars, the look—and how we allowed them to show us how to live. At the same time, movies, offering a seductive escape from everyday reality and its responsibilities, have made it possible for us to evade life altogether. The entranced audience has become a model for powerless and anxiety-ridden citizens trying to pursue happiness and dodge terror by sitting quietly in a dark room.
Does the big screen take us out into the world, or merely mesmerize us? That is Thomson's question in this grand adventure of a book. Books about the movies are often aimed at film buffs, but this passionate and provocative feat of storytelling is vital to anyone trying to make sense of the age of screens—the age that, more than ever, we are living in.
In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are.
Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock," and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
It recounts the misfortunes of the escaped Irish convicts who set out to walk from Sydney to China, guided only by a hand-drawn paper compass, and explains the role of the coconut in Australia's only military coup.
Our nation's beginnings are steeped in the strange, the ridiculous and the frankly bizarre. Girt proudly reclaims these stories for all of us.
Not to read it would be un-Australian
"A sneaky, sometimes shocking peek under the dirty rug of Australian history." - John Birmingham
"Hilarious and insightful -- Hunt has found the deep wells of humour in Australia's history." - Chris Taylor, The Chaser