Image for Making Trouble: Essays Against the New Australian Complacency & other new books

In Making Trouble Robert Manne takes aim at the new Australian complacency.

Making Trouble will enlighten and challenge, as it traces the ideas and events that have recently changed the nation. It covers much ground – from Howard to Gillard by way of Rudd, from Victoria’s bushfires to the Apology, from Wilfred Burchett to Julian Assange, and includes the updated version of “The Cypherpunk Revolutionary”, which drew global attention, and prompted WikiLeaks to tweet that it is “easily the best article” on Julian Assange.

Making Trouble also includes an exchange of letters with Tony Abbott, critical appraisals of the ‘insider’ Paul Kelly and the ‘outsider’ Mark Latham, an insightful discussion of the political and moral issues surrounding climate change, appreciations of W.E.H. Stanner and Primo Levi, a reflection on ways of remembering the Holocaust, and incisive and original essays about the question of reconciliation and the treatment of asylum seekers.

This eloquent collection shows why Robert Manne has twice been voted Australia’s leading public intellectual.

Contents:

The Howard Legacy
Asylum Seekers and Australian Democracy
Climate Change
The Media
The Rise and Fall of Kevin Rudd
Past and Present
Interpreting the Holocaust

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Robert Manne
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Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land
Joel Brinkley

A generation after Pol Pot’s regime killed one-quarter of the nation’s population, Cambodia shows every outward sign of having left its destructive past behind – the streets of Phnom Penh are paved; skyscrapers dot the skyline. But behind this façade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror. In 2008 and 2009, Joel Brinkley – who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the fall of the Khmer Rouge – returned to Cambodia. What he found was a population gripped by a venal government. He learned that between one-third and one-half of Cambodians who survived the Khmer Rouge era suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, and that its afflictions are being passed to the next generation. His extensive close-up reporting in Cambodia’s Curse illuminates the country, its people, and the deep historical roots of its modern-day behaviour.

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Joel Brinkley

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Illegal Harmonies: Music in the Modern Age
Andrew Ford

‘A delight to read since it sounds like Andrew Ford talking: off the cuff, but with a vivacious lucidity that not many authors can rival.’ – The Musical Times Harmony is created by bringing sounds together. In music lessons, we learn how to do this in a formal way: we learn about chords and keys, and we are given rules for using them. This is the textbook way; this is legal harmony. Everything else – including the sounds that constantly surround us, those of ticking clocks, dogs, traffic, birdsong and aeroplanes – is illegal harmony.

In response to the noisiest century in history, modern composers have consistently flown in the face of musical orthodoxy. As technology has changed at an unprecedented rate, so have musical styles – sometimes to the dismay of audiences and critics.

In Illegal Harmonies, Andrew Ford charts the course of music in the concert hall and opera house over the last hundred years, linking it to developments in literature, theatre, cinema and the visual arts, and to popular music from Irving Berlin to the Beatles to rap. The result is a stimulating, provocative and informative cultural history. This revised third edition includes a new preface and extended epilogue, bringing the story into the twenty-first century.

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Andrew Ford