This is the ninth of the 1960s and the nineteenth book overall to be released in a series of 30 about life in Australia – one for each year from 1939 to 1968. They describe happenings that affected people, real people. The whole series, to coin a modern phrase, is designed to push your buttons, to make you remember and wonder at things forgotten. The books might just let nostalgia see the light of day, so that oldies and youngies will talk about the past and re-discover a heritage otherwise forgotten.
Hopefully, they will spark discussions between generations, and foster the asking and answering of questions that should not remain unanswered. In 1968, Sydney had its teeth fluoridated, its sobriety tested for alcohol with breathalysers, and its first Kentucky Fried. And its first heart transplant. At the same time, the number of postal deliveries per day was reduced from two to one. There was still much opposition to conscription to the Vietnam War, and demos, often violent, were everywhere all the time. One operation in Vietnam saw 20 Australian 20-year-old youths, silly, rascally and lovable, killed in just a few days.
The new Prime Minister, John Gorton, announced that no more troops would be sent to Vietnam. The casino in Tasmania was approved, so visiting there became a gamble. We won a small pot of Gold at the Olympics, Lionel Rose became the first Aboriginal to become a World Boxing Champion, and poet Dorothea Mackellar (My Country) died at the age of 82.
About the Author
Ron Williams is a retired teacher, mathematician, computer-man, political scientist, farmer and writer. He has a BA from Sydney, and a Masters in Social Work and a PhD in Political Science from Hawaii. He currently lives in Wickham in Newcastle, NSW.
Tom Lynch, Speers Point. Some history writers make the mistake of trying to boost their authority by including graphs and charts all over the place. You on the other hand get a much better effect by saying things like "he made a pile." Or "every one worked hours longer than they should have, and felt like death warmed up at the end of the shift." I have seen other writers waste two pages of statistics painting the same picture as you did in a few words.Barry Marr, Adelaide You know that I am being facetious when I say that I wish the war had gone on for years longer so that you would have written more books about it.Edna College, Auburn. A few times I stopped and sobbed as you brought memories of the postman delivering letters, and the dread that ordinary people felt as he neared. How you captured those feelings yet kept your coverage from becoming maudlin or bogged down is a wonder to me.Betty Kelly, Wagga Wagga. Every time you seem to be getting serious, you throw in a phrase or memory that lightens up the mood. In particular, in the war when you were describing the terrible carnage of Russian troops, you ended with a ten-line description of how aggrieved you felt and ended it with "apart from that, things are pretty good here." For me, it turned the unbearable into the bearable, and I went from feeling morbid and angry back to a normal human being.Alan Davey, Brisbane. I particularly liked the light-hearted way you described the scenes at the airports as American, and British, high-flying entertainers flew in. I had always seen the crowd behaviour as disgraceful, but your light-hearted description of it made me realise it was in fact harmless and just good fun.
Series: Born in 19xx? What Else Happened?
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 26th September 2017
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.01 x 14.81 x 0.97
Weight (kg): 0.22