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[13 Dec 2009 | 64 Comments | 27,480 views ]

From his first drink at the age of fourteen Ross Fitzgerald has struggled with alcoholism. His story is one of despair, courage and hope – and living to see another day.
He writes about growing up in Melbourne, drinking his way through university in Australia and the US, being incarcerated and subjected to electric shock therapy and reaching rock bottom before being saved by Alcoholics Anonymous.

One of Australia’s most widely-published historians, his story is truly inspiring. Insightful and brutally honest, “My Name is Ross” is his account of life as an …

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[1 Dec 2009 | One Comment | 2,665 views ]
The Pope’s Battalions

More than half a century ago, the Catholic Church set out to take over Australian political life. The Church set up an underground organization to infiltrate political parties, to control their agenda, and to assume the leadership of their personnel. With church money, church facilities, and church authority, the organization had some noticeable successes. By 1952 it felt able to report that within a few years, Australian governments, federal and state, would be legislating its policies.
If this sounds shocking today, one should reflect that in a democracy it is legitimate …

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[29 Aug 2009 | 3 Comments | 43,397 views ]
Nation under the influence

FOR most of European history, the social effects of drunkenness were widely perceived as a problem and the individual drinker was seen as the source of that problem.
Before the 19th century, what is most notable about responses to excessive drinking is its perceived connection with licentiousness, sinfulness and crime. English laws against drunkenness enacted in 1552 and in 1606 repressed what was seen at the time as “the odious and loathsome sin of drunkenness”.
Problem drinking and alcohol-related harms hinted at moral defects in individuals, so remedies focused on punishing sinful …