Knocking The Top Off: A People’s History of Australia
Edited by Iain McIntyre and Alex Ettling
An intoxicating journey through Australia's relationship with alcohol. Featuring short expositions and deep dives into incidents, eras, groups and individuals, this collection provides an alternative history of Australian society and culture from the bottom up. Heavily illustrated, it includes 67 chapters.
Contributors include Gary Foley, Jeff Sparrow, Wendy Bacon, David Nichols, Tanja Luckins, Maggie Brady, Rowan Cahill, Bruce Carter, Carol Corless, Daniel A. Elias, Alex Ettling, Alison Holland, Terry Irving, Phoebe Kelloway, Diane Kirkby, Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Chris McConville, Iain McIntyre, Lisa Milner, Michael Quinlan, Nick Southall, Janey Stone and Graham Willett.
A selection of topics covering events regarding Melbourne and Victoria includes: pubs, the formation of trade unions and Eight Hour Day; a donation of champagne by the Victorian Governor to the unemployed in 1902; the Italian anti-fascist Matteotti Club; drinking’s role in Australian Modernism; folk, jazz and moral panics; Christmas beer strikes; barmaids and the fight for equal pay; Counterculture Carlton and its pubs; the 1979 Frankston riot; the rise and fall of pub rock; the Woolshed hotel same-sex kiss-in; Paddy Garrity, the Trades Hall bar and the Comedy festival; and the changing nature of alcohol consumption in recent decades.
What people are saying:
“Knocking The Top Off demonstrates that the social history of alcohol is not just froth and bubble but rather a compelling and insightful way to look through the glass of Australian history, often darkly. Drink deeply of this book. It will satisfy intellectual and literary thirsts alike.”
Clare Wright, author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia's Female Publicans
“An absorbing read through the alcohol-soaked story of modern Australia from colonialism to the present day.”
Verity Burgmann, author of Green Bans, Red Union: The Saving of a City and Globalization and Labour in the Twenty-First Century.
“A fascinating contribution to Australian social and political history, this book is a reminder of the radical current in Australian life. It is also richly-illustrated, full of unexpected discoveries, and a rollicking read.”
Sean Scalmer, author of The Little History of Australian Unionism and Democratic Adventurer: Graham Berry and the Making of Australian Politics.
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