A Thinking Reed
Allen & Unwin, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 591 pages
From quiz kid to Australian Minister for Science, from frustrated school teacher to National President of the ALP, from the suburbs of Melbourne to UNESCO in Paris, Barry Jones has had a prodigious public life.
Barry Jones first came to public prominence as Pick-a-Box quiz champion, and from then on he has embraced a myriad of passions and causes. A Thinking Reed spans his remarkable career, from a lonely childhood in Melbourne of the 1930s and 1940s to the fight he led against the death penalty to his crusade to make science and the future prominent issues on the political agenda. He has worked tirelessly on both a global and local scale to rethink education, to improve and preserve our heritage, to revive the nations's film industry, and to build a better Australia.
Almost unique among politicians, Barry Jones is held in enormous public affection. And while he reveals many insights into the political process - both the problems of office and the atrophy of Opposition - he concentrates above all on the life of the mind; a mind with deep, passionate and often witty insights into history, philosophy, music and literature. A Thinking Reed is a generous gift from an extraordinary Australian.
'A Thinking Reed is a book that works through accumulation and accretion . . . and in his requiem for contemporary politics, we reach the finale of what we now see has been a symphony, and one with Mahleresque intimations of tragedy'. - Australian Literary Review
'Barry Jones has written the best autobiography of a politician I have ever read'. - Don Aitkin, Canberra Historical Journal
'A Thinking Reed is a mixture of honesty, FUN, common sense and scholarship too. It makes a delightful portrait of a life. - Owen Chadwick, OM, historian
'It is breathtakingly ambitious, clear-eyed but generous about other people Rich and strange - like travelling with Gulliver as he discovers the world and himself in it . . . I don't often hanker for multi-volumed works, but I wished for more all the while I was reading this'. - The Age
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An excellent and honest story, but the encyclopaedic detail could be overwhelming for anyone not of similar nationality (Australian), age and interests Read full review
3 Death Penalty
4 Quiz Show
5 Fifty Years Hard Labor
7 Bump Me Into Parliament
12 Backbench Explorations
14 The Third Age
1979 1989 2001
The Second Coming
8 Life of My Mind
9 Sleepers Wake
10 Inside the Hawke Government
11 Ministering to Science
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Common terms and phrases
adopted American appeared argued asked attack Australian Barry became become began Bill called campaign cent chair Church commitment Committee Conference Council death debate deeply defeated developed died direct early economic effective election especially essentially Executive experience Federal followed force Government hanging Hawke held House human important industry influence interest involved issues John knowledge Labor later Leader Liberal lived looked lost major March meeting Melbourne never Parliament Party penalty Peter played political President Prime Minister problems proposed questions record Representatives Science seat seemed Senate significant social society South speech strong talked television thought told took United University Victorian vote wanted Whitlam wrote
Page 131 - Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
Page 76 - What's that so black agin the sun?' said Files-onParade. 'It's Danny fightin' 'ard for life,' the Colour-Sergeant said. 'What's that that whimpers over'ead?' said Files-onParade. 'It's Danny's soul that's passin' now,
Page 329 - I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Page 527 - So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Page 275 - Tell all the Truth but tell it slant— Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind...
Page 530 - Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Page 154 - God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen: Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us: God save the Queen.
Page 317 - In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat...
Page 528 - I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on" (Three Novels by Samuel Beckett [New York: Grove Press, 1955], p.
Page 530 - Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,...