Nicholas Brown reviews ‘I Wonder’: The life and work of Ken Inglis' edited by Peter Browne and Seumas Spark
I am ashamed to recall that when our high-school history class in the late 1970s was set K.S. Inglis’s The Australian Colonists (1974), I – and I don’t think I was alone – didn’t quite know what to do with a text that focused on ‘ceremonies, monuments and rhetoric’, one that began as a study on 26 January 1788 but worked back as an historical enquiry from 25 April 1915.... (read more)
Astrid Edwards reviews 'Dunera Lives: Volume 1: A visual history' by Ken Inglis, Seumas Spark, and Jay Winter with Carol Bunyan
Dunera Lives: A visual history is a compelling examination of the experiences of Britain’s enemy aliens within Australia’s detention centres in World War II. This evocative visual narrative of primary sources, compiled by the late Ken Inglis with Seumas Spark and Jay Winter, assisted by Carol Bunyan ...... (read more)
Seumas Spark reviews 'Australia’s Northern Shield? Papua New Guinea and the defence of Australia since 1880' by Bruce Hunt
The subtitle of this book is Papua New Guinea and the Defence of Australia since 1880. Michael Somare, first prime minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), is at the centre of the cover photograph, and the cover design uses red, yellow, and black, the colours of the PNG flag. Yet for much of this book PNG is at the periphery of ...... (read more)
Seumas Spark reviews 'The Shadow Men: The leaders who shaped the Australian Army from the Veldt to Vietnam' edited by Craig Stockings and John Connor
First, a quibble. In the first paragraph of his introduction, John Connor writes that few Australians could ‘name a significant figure of the Australian Army’, John Monash and Simpson (and his donkey) aside. I am less sure. A generation after his death, Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop remains a familiar name. Two of the past three governors-general, including the incu ...
I hazard a guess that more books are published on Anzac – the day, the legend, the myth – than on any other subject in Australian history. The least of these ...... (read more)
Seumas Spark reviews 'A Little America in Western Australia' by Anthony J. Barker and Michael L. Ondaatje
Visiting Australia in November 2011, President Obama announced plans for the deployment of United States marines to a Darwin base. The decision to establish a permanent American military presence in northern Australia, taken with the support of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Australian government, was part of the 'pivot' to Asia in US defence policy. The idea ...