Weevils in the Flour: An Oral Record of the 1930s Depression in Australia

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Scribe Publications, 1998 - Business & Economics - 464 pages

This is a magnificent oral record of the experiences of ordinary Australians during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and has been continuously in print since it was published in 1978.

What does the family breadwinner do after suddenly getting the sack? How do you manage when you are working every second week only or your wages — but not your mortgage — have been cut by 20 per cent? Working for the dole, living in shanty towns, squatting in empty buildings, standing forever in queues, despised by bureaucrats and slowly losing self-respect — all these experiences and more are described vividly within these pages.

Now, more than 70 years after the events it deals with, Weevils in the Flour rebukes a new generation of failed policy-makers. This edition carries a new preface by the author which comments angrily on ‘the same old capitalist system, with the gloves off’ that has produced such prolonged, intense distress.

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About the author (1998)

Wendy Lowenstein was born in 1927 and started school in 1932 — the deepest year of the Great Depression. She has been a print and radio journalist, a factory worker, a full-time mother, a history teacher, and a school librarian. She was founder editor of the journal Australian Tradition, and her first book, Shocking, Shocking, Shocking: improper play rhymes of Australian children, was self-published on a roneo machine. She has since self-published other books, including Under the Hook: Melbourne Waterside Workers Remember, Self-Publishing Without Pain, and Weevils at Work: what’s happening to work in Australia. Wendy Lowenstein died in 2006.

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