Tony Moore’s engaging account of Australian bohemians begins with Marcus Clarke and takes us through to Julian Assange. Along the way we encounter Australian bohemia in its diverse expressions, from the art of the Heidelberg School, writing of the Bulletin, high jinks of 1920s Sydney bohemia to the Sydney Push, Melbourne Drift, 1960s counterculture (in both its local and London expatriate manifestations), cultured larrikins of 1970s ‘new nationalism’, punk, post-punk, and much else. Here is the historian as impresario, assembling an extraordinary cast across 150 years of Australian cultural history. To bring them all together without producing an inedible stew is a major achievement in itself.
Push and shove
Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia's Bohemians since 1860
by Tony Moore
Pier 9, $29.95 pb, 384 pp, 9781741961447
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Frank Bongiorno teaches at the Australian National University, where he is Head of the School of History. His most recent book is The Eighties: The decade that transformed Australia (Black Inc., 2015) and he is co-editor, with Benjamin T. Jones and John Uhr, of Elections Matter: Ten federal elections that shaped Australia (Monash University Publishing, 2018).
By this contributor
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