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John Lack

John Lack is a Melbourne urban historian.

John Lack reviews ‘The Long, Slow Death of White Australia’ by Gwenda Tavan

August 2005, no. 273 01 August 2005
‘Little more than a hundred years ago,’ Alfred Deakin wrote in 1901, ‘Australia was a Dark Continent [without] a white man within its borders. Its sparse native population was black as ebony. There are now some sixty thousand of their descendants remaining and about eighty thousand coloured aliens added. In another century,’ he confidently predicted, ‘Australia will be a White Continent ... (read more)

John Lack reviews ‘The Oromo in Exile’ by Greg Gow, ‘From White Australia to Woomera’ by James Jupp, and ‘Mixed Matches’ by Jane Duncan Owen

December 2002-January 2003, no. 247 01 December 2002
The arresting cover of James Jupp’s important From White Australia to Woomera features the distraught faces of the children of detained asylum seekers. As the blurb puts it: ‘There never has been a greater need for a sober, historically informed yet critical account of immigration policy in Australia.’ This is indeed a book for the times. The nation’s left/liberal intelligentsia – much-d ... (read more)

John Lack reviews 'The Multicultural Experiment: Immigrants, refugees and national identity' edited by Leonie Kramer

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
These eleven papers are the product of the most recent of the Boston, Melbourne, Oxford Conversazione on Culture and Society, which, Leonie Kramer tells us in her brief introduction, has succeeded in attracting ‘leading scholars and experts in their fields’ and in remaining distinguished by ‘freedom from political restraints and the narrow debates that these engender’. However, there’s n ... (read more)

John Lack reviews 'Australian Capital Cities' edited by J.W. McCarty and C.B. Schedvin

February–March 1980, no. 18 01 February 1980
Anyone interested in quickly assessing the scope, direction and lacunae of urban history in Australia would be well advised to read this attractively priced and presented anthology. Although only two of the ten contributions have been specially commissioned, the rest are recent pieces, mostly from out-of-print, expensive or turgid larger works. These are two general essays, an article on each of t ... (read more)