Review Blog

Aug 02 2010

Rockin', rollin', hair and hippies by Jackie French

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Scholastic, 2010. ISBN 9781741695441.
Non Fiction. Recommended. In her infectious style of writing, Jackie French sets her eye on post World War 2 Australia, a time of momentous change, particularly for young adults, Aboriginal people and women. All three groups cried out for recognition, and finally hard fought rights were given, so that by the 1970's Aboriginal people had won their right to be counted in the census, the ability to vote and equality before the law, as had women, while young adults were a voice that no government could now ignore, with the Vietnam moratoriums ringing in their ears.
How these rights were won is the underlying story in this fascinating book, as French tells us about the Cold War, the advent of television, the Vietnam War, the various prime ministers who held sway after Menzies and the Green Bans. Behind each of these chapters, is the rise of the voice of those groups within our society which were traditionally acquiescent or kept so by custom. It is an amazing story told with economy and interest by the author of the series of books, Fair Dinkum Histories, bringing a love of history to a new generation through humour and panache. Supported by the illustrations of Peter Sheehan, the whole is finished with a concise contents page, recommended reading list, a sound index and a page referencing the other books in this admirable series.
Fran Knight

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