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Gary Werskey

Gary Werskey

Gary Werskey is a Harvard-trained biographer and cultural historian who has held academic positions at Edinburgh University, Imperial College, and the University of New South Wales. For the past decade, he has promoted the study of Australian history to a wider audience as a co-founder of the Blackheath History Forum. He is currently an Honorary Associate in the University of Sydney’s Department of History. His latest publication is Picturing a Nation: The art & life of A.H. Fullwood (NewSouth, 2021). He also co-curated with Natalie Wilson (Curator of Australian & Pacific Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales) the National Library of Australia’s recent exhibition A Nation Imagined: The Artists of the Picturesque Atlas.

Gary Werskey reviews 'An Intimate History of Evolution: The story of the Huxley family' by Alison Bashford

September 2023, no. 457 28 June 2023
Fifty years ago (when I was a very young scholar), I was asked to write an essay review of some recently published books about the Huxleys. None of them in my view, including Julian Huxley’s own volume of Memories (1970), did justice to their subjects’ scientific achievements and social concerns. Half a century later we now have Alison Bashford’s An Intimate History of Evolution: The story o ... (read more)

Gary Werskey reviews 'Visions of Nature: How landscape photography shaped settler colonialism' by Jarrod Hore

July 2022, no. 444 25 June 2022
‘Country’ – the land of Indigenous peoples (minus their Dreamings) – is the great subject of settler-colonial art, an act of appropriation in which the dispossession of its original custodians is rendered invisible. As Jarrod Hore establishes beyond doubt in Visions of Nature, it was landscape photographers who proved to be one of the more significant cultural agents of settler colonialism ... (read more)

Gary Werskey reviews 'JFK: Coming of age in the American century, 1917–1956' by Fredrik Logevall

September 2021, no. 435 23 August 2021
Writing this review of John F. Kennedy’s formative years soon after the end of the Trump regime has evoked some surprising parallels between these two one-term American presidents (and perennial womanisers). They were both second sons born into wealthy families dominated by powerful patriarchs. Against the odds, they emerged as their fathers’ favourites and were groomed for success. Thanks not ... (read more)