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Watching the Sun Rise: Australian Reporting of Japan, 1931 to the Fall of Singapore

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0739107829
ISBN-10: 0739107828
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Jacqui Murray brings to life the world of international reporting in the 1930s: tough, often dangerous, and with a somewhat romantic aura. Her subject is Japan's aggression in Manchuria and the looming war in Asia, as seen by the Australian media. She tells of both press and radio, timid, complacent, and beset by propaganda, censorship, and disinformation from all sides. It is, unexpectedly, a story of war, espionage, collaboration, conspiracy, and treason―an exciting revelation of an era we have largely forgotten. (Alan Rix, University of Queensland)

Spin doctors and the manipulation of news stories are nothing new. In this highly readable and compelling account Jacqui Murray draws on experience as journalist and historian to show how Australian perceptions of East Asia in the 1930s were distorted in the media. Interference by an Australian government nervous of dissent and controversy worked on news stories already gathered from inadequate sources. The result was that Australia entered the Pacific War under-prepared and under-informed. Jacqui Murray's story has resonances reaching beyond Australia, and carries lessons for the present day. (Geoffrey Bolton, Murdoch University)

Jacqui Murray's <Watching the Sun> weaves fine strains of detail into a fascinating tapestry that presents much more than its prosaic subtitle suggests? Murray has produced a work that challenges conceptions of the media's role in Australian history? Thematerial presented amply demonstrates the limits of professionalism in the thoroughly politicized field of media.... (John Tebbutt, LaTrobe University)

Murray?s superbly critical hard-hitting analysis of pre-World War Two Australian journalism is a solid piece of historical analysis derived from a review of public and private primary sources, many now available for the first time as official papers from the era of World War Two are declassified. (Charles C. Kolb, National Endowment for the Humanities H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)

The thesis is a triumph both of research and analysis. It produces new and compelling insights into many aspects of Australian media regarding Japan in the lead-up to the Pacific War. It also effectively demolishes some strands in the history of Australian foreign policy, which suggested much more prescience and fear of the coming Japanese threat, than is justified by the evidence. (Rodney Tiffen, University of Sydney)

Jacqui Murray's weaves fine strains of detail into a fascinating tapestry that presents much more than its prosaic subtitle suggests… Murray has produced a work that challenges conceptions of the media's role in Australian history… The material presented amply demonstrates the limits of professionalism in the thoroughly politicized field of media. (John Tebbutt, LaTrobe University)

"Murray's superbly critical hard-hitting analysis of pre-World War Two Australian journalism is a solid piece of historical analysisderived from a review of public and private primary sources, many now available for the first time as official papers from the era of World War Two are declassified." (Charles C. Kolb, National Endowment for the Humanities H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online)

About the Author

Jacqui Murray is a seasoned journalist. She holds a Ph.D. in Asian Cultural Studies from the University of Queensland.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (December 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739107828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739107829
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,170,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book offers a lot more than its title might suggest. Murray's survey of opinion formation about Japan in the 1930s through the Australian media ranges from political and diplomatic machinations to the intrigues of propaganda campaigns and espionage. It is richly researched, steeped in primary sources, including the author's own interviews, yet written with a light touch that maintained this reader's interest. The book's price-tag is certainly a discouragement, but it is well edited and sturdily made. It deserves a wide readership.
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