Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Beer, McCarthy and social change

I have personal writing deadlines today. This one is just a round-up.

Yesterday I added a few more newspaper references at the end of Rural Press, Fairfax and Brian McCarthy. There was a good story in the Australian Financial Review too, although its behind the firewall. It focused in part on the cultural differences between the Rural Press and Fairfax sides, something that I alluded too. I will add something.

I was also reminded that there was an earlier not entirely friendly discussion on my blogs on the Rural Press culture itself. Note to myself: find that!

The Brian McCarthy post led to three further posts.

I know that it sometimes seems that the world revolves around New England, the New England Tablelands and the surrounding river valleys. Certainly I have thoroughly typecast myself here. But then, perhaps it (the world) does!

Two of the posts were in my current series on social change in New England 1950-2000.

Social Change in New England 1950-2000 8: unlisted public companies looks at one mechanism through which capital was mobilised. The linkage with Rural Press lies in the way that company was able to expand by taking these companies over.

Social Change in New England 1950-2000 9: Grafton Brewing Company Limited takes one company as a case study in the change process. I had thought that Grafton Brewing was an unlisted public company, but I was probably wrong. Certainly it seems to have been listed in 1961 when Tooheys bought it.

Then In memory of Grafton beer is a short memorial on the first beer I ever drank. There is actually a broader story here, but that's another matter.

I am increasingly confident that the research and writing I am doing on social change in New England in the second half of the twentieth century will make a decent story as well as history. It's just a good yarn.

I think that it hangs together well enough to be of some interest to somebody outside Australia who knows nothing of Australia. To Australians who really know nothing of New England but something about their own country, it should put the changes that happened in a different perspective with different weightings.

Here I think that I am helped by the fact that I write not just as an historian but as an economist, a policy adviser and a management consultant. Recognising that my personal and family involvements create a risk of bias, I still think that this adds depth.

To people from New England, I hope that it shows them their area in a new way. 

I may sound to be boasting and perhaps I am. Certainly, I need to keep motivating myself so that I push forward on a task - the general history of New England - that so often conflicts with what I need to do now.

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