‘There was so much that I loved about this book. It seemed to take the pulse of Australian society and shows how the country has changed. Mackay’s general argument is that, to cope with the plethora of big issues that affect us such as terrorism/national security, the global economy and climate change (just to name a few)Australia has become increasingly insular and inward looking. He cites our inability to deal with issues on a personal level which makes us focus on things we can change for example home renovations and spirituality. MacKay feels that our keen interest in shows such as Better Homes and Gardians, Backyard Blitz and shows like CSI and Law & Order are an attempt to escape from having to engage with the big issues facing our society. It is easier to renovate your house than to “stop the boats” or reduce Aboriginal disadvantage, for example.
I found myself wanting to throw the book at the wall when I was reading the chapter on the Gender Revolution, not that I disagreed with it but because it was so spot on, especially how modern Australian females have little appreciation of the work done by generations of feminist women. His discussion about the changing nature of gender roles was also really interesting.
This is a great book about Australia and is well worth the read if you are interested about modern Australian cultural history.‘ – Gabrielle Trenbath (Goodreads review)
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