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Australians: A historical library edited by Alan Gilbert and K.S. Inglis

by
May 1988, no. 100

Australians: A historical library edited by Alan Gilbert and K.S. Inglis

Fairfax, Syme and Weldon, $695 hb

Australians: A historical library edited by Alan Gilbert and K.S. Inglis

by
May 1988, no. 100

As an ‘imagined community’, Australia ‘imagined imagining needs more that community’, most strenuous imagining than most. Post-colonial? Not really – we are recolonized over and over. Wall Street shivers, the Australian dollar gets pneumonia; Japan revises its shopping-list, and our coal industry verges on collapse. Britain’s hold began to loosen after World War II, but our cultural colonization by the United States was probably effective at least sixty-five years ago, by the time Australian cinema outlets had been secured for Hollywood, and closed off for local producers, through the nefarious block-booking system. With film and television, there never was much political will to defend ourselves; nor was there any, a year ago, to prevent the powerful American magnate Rupert Murdoch from taking over two-thirds of the press in what used to be his own country. There are moments and areas where it still seems reasonable to promote cultural nationalism, l not positive xenophobia.

Sylvia Lawson reviews 'Australians: A historical library' edited by Alan Gilbert and K.S. Inglis

Australians: A historical library

edited by Alan Gilbert and K.S. Inglis

Fairfax, Syme and Weldon, $695 hb

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