Imagining the fifties : private sentiment and political culture in Menzies' Australia /
John Murphy.
Sydney : UNSW Press ; Annandale, NSW, Australia : Pluto Press, 2000.
xii, 264 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
More Details
Sydney : UNSW Press ; Annandale, NSW, Australia : Pluto Press, 2000.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-255) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
John Murphy is an associate professor, teaching politics and history at RMIT University in Melbourne.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-01-01:
Murphy argues that contemporary Australian nostalgia for the 1950s as a stable, complacent, prosperous period has obscured its more contradictory, dynamic aspects. Chapters examine the aura surrounding the concept of solid, responsible citizenship-- "the Australian way of life"--propounded by Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies in the light of political opposition by Australia's "discontents," who criticized government policies concerning immigration, labor, and Aborigines. He concludes that the years were not static but filled with profound change and doubt. Full employment and economic growth were marred by inflation and a nagging fear that the awful years of the Great Depression might return or the Cold War might heat up. The 1950s should not be seen as "one seamless experience." Events before 1955 flowed from post-WW II policies and circumstances, whereas events after 1955 seeded the vibrant, youthful generation of the late 1960s, who opposed "suburban isolation, the drudgery of constrictive gender roles, and middle class values" as well as the Vietnam conflict. Similarities with American political and societal development are obvious. Nicely organized, with illustrations and notes, this volume is highly recommended for advanced undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. W. W. Reinhardt; Randolph-Macon College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Using sources that include popular magazines, opinion polls, archives and newspapers, John Murphy explores the private sentiments of the Australian middle class during the 1950s as the nation moved from hope to drabness and conformity.
Main Description
Our memory of the post-war years are dominated by myths - the boom years of unprecedented prosperity and stability. John Murphy reveals the much more complex reality behind these myths. The book focuses on the sentiments and attitudes of the middle-class constituency that kept the Menzies government in power after 1949.
Table of Contents
List of illustrationsp. viii
List of figures and tablesp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
The pursuit of private happinessp. 13
Manhoodp. 31
Womanhoodp. 42
Intimacyp. 55
The Australian way of lifep. 66
The rewards of the good citizenp. 81
'A war-haunted world'p. 91
An unreliable boomp. 105
The Petrov electionp. 121
The meanings of homep. 136
Immigration and assimilationp. 149
'Dog licences' and indigenous citizensp. 168
'Pledging the future'p. 185
The housewife and the Man in the Grey Flannel Suitp. 199
Conclusionp. 217
Notesp. 223
Sourcesp. 247
Indexp. 256
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem