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Jon Piccini

Jon Piccini

Jon Piccini is a historian at Australian Catholic University. He writes on Australian political and social movement history from a global perspective. His most recent book is Human Rights in Twentieth-Century Australia (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Jon Piccini reviews 'Imperial Island: A history of empire in modern Britain' by Charlotte Lydia Riley

December 2023, no. 460 26 November 2023
The opinions of Kandiah Kamalesvaran AM, better known by his stage name Kamahl, on the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament received extensive media attention in September 2023. A household name for many Australians, the Malaysian-born crooner’s indecision frustrated both the Yes and No camps. Kamahl’s story is very much one of empire. Arriving in Adelaide from the then British colony of M ... (read more)

Jon Piccini reviews 'The Truth of the Palace Letters' by Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston and 'The Palace Letters' by Jenny Hocking

January–February 2021, no. 428 16 December 2020
In April 2011, the landmark High Court victory of four elderly Kenyans revealed a dark episode in British colonial history. Between 1952 and 1960, barbaric practices, including forced removal and torture, were widely employed against ‘Mau Mau’ rebels, real or imagined. Upon the granting of independence in 1963, thousands of files documenting such atrocities were ‘retained’ by the British a ... (read more)

Jon Piccini reviews 'The Fatal Lure of Politics: The life and thought of Vere Gordon Childe' by Terry Irving

August 2020, no. 423 03 July 2020
A young Australian radical, who finds academic success later in life, struggles with an inexorable question: what is the relationship between these two worlds: the activist and the scholar? This question animated the life of Vere Gordon Childe, the Australian Marxist and intellectual whose The Dawn of Euro pean Civilization (1925) helped establish modern archaeology, as it has his most recent biog ... (read more)