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Michael Cathcart

Michael Cathcart abridged Manning Clark’s History of Australia.

Michael Cathcart reviews 'Rivers and Resilience: Aboriginal People On Sydney’s Georges River' by Heather Goodall and Allison Cadzow

December 2009–January 2010, no. 317 01 December 2009
This is a celebration of Aboriginal survival on the Georges River, a river which snakes through the south-western suburbs of Sydney and disgorges into Botany Bay. Co-author Heather Goodall, a professor of history at University of Technology, Sydney, reveals that she grew up on the river unaware that she was surrounded by an Aboriginal community. This changed when, in the 1970s, she was confronted ... (read more)

Michael Cathcart reviews 'Speaking Out of Turn: Lectures and speeches, 1940–1991' by Manning Clark

December 1997–January 1998, no. 197 01 December 1997
I heard Manning Clark lecture just once. It was in 1981. He was addressing a hall packed with school students who were attending a history camp at the Australian National University. That night, Clark demonstrated two qualities which distinguish most good lecturers: he played a character who was an enlarged version of himself, and he convinced the gathering that his topic was central to any unders ... (read more)

Michael Cathcart reviews 'Australian Nationalism: A documentary history' edited by Stephen Alomes and Catherine Jones

August 1991, no. 133 01 August 1991
A collection of documents that dramatises particular nationalist traditions and debates with the dynamism of a really good anthology. First a confession. I’ve never been excited by the idea of reading a book of documents. Such collections come in useful if you’re a teacher or a historian (exactly what did Menzies say in his ‘melancholy duty’ speech at the outbreak of the Second World War? ... (read more)

Michael Cathcart reviews 'A Shorter History of Australia' by Geoffrey Blainey

December 1994, no. 167 01 December 1994
Like Manning Clark, Blainey sees history as a story of progress in which Western civilisation develops from a kind of primal baseline. But the dynamic force which drives events in Blainey’s history is more tangible-more material-than in Clark’s. As Blainey himself explains, he regards technology and economics as being far more important agents of change than politics. He locates the origins of ... (read more)