viernes, 20 de marzo de 2015

Down under. Linkletter

In 1954, under the spell of the late Harold Holt’s infectious evangelism for Australia as a land of opportunity, Art Linkletter and some celebrity friends formed a syndicate and prepared to go prospecting in the land where winter was summer and the soldiers wore “wide-brimmed hats turned up on one side”.
There were sure that they would meet kangaroos and koala bears, and perhaps see some stone-age aborigines wandering across the limitless deserts, but beyond this vague trivia, these “babes” knew literally nothing about the “land down under”. Yet, in the spirit of true adventurers, they bravely set out to answer the romantic “call of the wild”.
With dreams of feeding an exploding world population and a chancy scheme for making enormous dividends, they invested in 500,000 acres of rice paddies at Humpty Doo in Australia’s Top End. Roads were built, workers imported, ground leveled and seeded. Two years later their investment lay in ruins. Throngs of wild ducks and thundering herds of water buffalo refused to give up their squatter’s rights, especially when those rights meant “handouts” of fresh Tai rice.
Written with Linkletter’s irrepressible wit and humor, and illustrated by the distinguished Australian cartoonist, Paul Rigby, this is the full story of that “Hollywood Guy Down Under”, and a revealing character sketch of Australia-the land and its people.
Art Linkletter, originator of “House Party” and of “The World of Children”, has been a dominant figure in radio and television broadcasting for 30 years. He is the author of 10 books including such best sellers as Kids say the darndest things, which has been a world classic since 1957. As a developer of vast cattle and sheep ranches in Western Australia, Art Linkletter is introduced in Down Under as a pioneer on a new kind of frontier.
Paul Rigby, a native Australian, is an author, syndicated cartoonist, and caricaturist, popular throughout his own country and England. He joined the Western Australian Newspapers Ltd. In 1949 and has been on the staff of the Daily News (Perth) since 1953. His world assignments have included the United States, Russia, Red China, Europe, and Vietnam.
Intriguing look at Australia in the late 50's and early 60's
The book is full of interesting local knowledge and well worth perusing.

Includes a Glossary with Aussie slang