Lyndon Megarrity

Lyndon Megarrity

Lyndon Megarrity is a Queensland historian and tertiary teacher. He is the author of Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia (2018).

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Advance Australia... Where? How we've changed, why we've changed, and what will happen next' by Hugh Mackay

December 2007–January 2008, no. 297 01 December 2007
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Advance Australia... Where? How we've changed, why we've changed, and what will happen next' by Hugh Mackay
Advance Australia … Where? is such an eye-catching pun on Australia’s national anthem that it is no wonder that it has been used, with slight variations, as the title of at least eight books and pamphlets since World War II. Such publications have tended to express an individual author’s vision for the nation. In contrast, the latest Advance Australia … Where?, written by Hugh Mackay, main ... (read more)

Lynton Megarrity reviews 'Australian Historical Studies, vol. 37 no.127' edited by Joy Damousi and 'Australian Historical Studies, vol. 37 no.128' edited by Shurlee Swain and Stuart MacIntyre

February 2007, no. 288 01 February 2007
‘Nothing bad has ever happened in the last 218 years of European settlement – and if anything ever did, it has been inflated out of all proportion by self-serving lefty academics.’ The perpetually angry right-wing commentators that dominate the so-called ‘history wars’ would never write anything so crass, but that is the message which appears to permeate the ‘three cheers’ school of ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Operation Jungle' by John Shobbrook

March 2022, no. 440 22 February 2022
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Operation Jungle' by John Shobbrook
True crime books sell. Few of them, however, are as well written as this book. John Shobbrook’s Operation Jungle is one of the most entertaining and gripping memoirs of law enforcement in Queensland that has been published by the University of Queensland Press. It is set during Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s controversial premiership (1968–87). Nostalgically recalling a time before the internet and m ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Labor People: The stories of six true believers' by Chris Bowen

October 2021, no. 436 28 September 2021
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Labor People: The stories of six true believers' by Chris Bowen
Contemporary Australian parliamentarians tend to be focused firmly on the present. Speechwriters may liberally sprinkle the speeches of politicians with references to a political party’s golden past, but an MP’s sincerest interest in history often emerges when he or she gets around to publishing a memoir of their time in office. A politician’s autobiography is an exercise that encourages sel ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Trials and Transformations, 2001–2004: The Howard government, Volume III' edited by Tom Frame

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Trials and Transformations, 2001–2004: The Howard government, Volume III' edited by Tom Frame
Queensland MP Charles Porter’s book, The ‘Gut Feeling’ (1981), relates the story of former prime minister Billy Hughes being pressed in the 1940s to pass judgement on a Liberal Federal Council statement on an industrial issue. ‘No bloody good,’ he pronounced. ‘Not sufficiently ambiguous!’ If, as Hughes implied, ambiguity is a key virtue needed for political survival, then by 2001 the ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Manner of Their Going: Prime ministerial exits in Australia' by Norman Abjorensen

January–February 2020, no. 418 16 December 2019
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Manner of Their Going: Prime ministerial exits in Australia' by Norman Abjorensen
How many of us would really want to be prime minister? The road to The Lodge is littered with depressing tales of ambitious politicians abandoning their friends, principles, and even their own authentic voice in order to secure the Top Job. Then, once you’ve fulfilled your life’s ambitions, voters and your own supporters are liable to tire of you and seek a new political hero. Nevertheless, pr ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Elections Matter: Ten federal elections that shaped Australia' edited by Benjamin T. Jones, Frank Bongiorno, and John Uhr

April 2019, no. 410 25 March 2019
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Elections Matter: Ten federal elections that shaped Australia' edited by Benjamin T. Jones, Frank Bongiorno, and John Uhr
The atmosphere among Australian electors lining up to cast a vote at a school, hall, or similar institution is generally relaxed and informal, a ‘vibe’ enhanced by the friendly banter of local party members handing out ‘How to Vote’ cards. But the casualness of the Australian way of voting cannot disguise the fundamental importance of each local, state, and federal poll. As the authors of ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Back from the Brink, 1997–2001: The Howard Government Volume II' edited by Tom Frame

January-February 2019, no. 408 18 December 2018
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Back from the Brink, 1997–2001: The Howard Government Volume II' edited by Tom Frame
Back from the Brink is the second volume of a projected four-volume series that investigates the performance of the four Howard governments (1996–2007). The first dealt with the Liberal– National Party coalition’s election in 1996 and their first year in power. The work under review focuses on the period from ‘January 1997 when the Workplace Relations Act 1996 came into operation until the ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'We’ll Show the World: Expo 88' by Jackie Ryan

September 2018, no. 404 24 August 2018
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'We’ll Show the World: Expo 88' by Jackie Ryan
Born in 1825, Brisbane is an elderly lady who has been to a surprising number of ‘coming of age’ balls. Numerous historians, officials, speechmakers, and journalists for several decades have implied that Brisbane (as of 1982, 1988, or whenever) is now not only the belle of the ball, but she has thrown out all reminders of her daggy, embarrassing, and sinister past and is now a sophisticated ci ... (read more)

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Boy from Baradine' by Craig Emerson

April 2018, no. 400 26 March 2018
Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Boy from Baradine' by Craig Emerson
The Boy from Baradine is one of the latest Australian political memoirs to hit the shelves. Craig Emerson, a prominent minister in the Rudd and Gillard governments between 2007 and 2013, has some interesting stories to tell about life as a political adviser, a pragmatic supporter of the environment, and an ambitious Labor politician. Emerson comes across as genuine and down to earth. He appears no ... (read more)
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