Australian History

John Arnold reviews 'La Trobe: Traveller, writer, governor' by John Barnes

John Arnold
06 December 2017

Victorians know the name La Trobe through the eponymous university, La Trobe Street in the city of Melbourne, and the Latrobe Valley in Gippsland. Tasmanians are familiar with the town of More

James Dunk reviews 'Memorandoms by James Martin: An astonishing escape from early New South Wales' edited by Tim Causer

James Dunk
06 December 2017

In 1784 William Bryant was sentenced, rather optimistically, to be transported to the American colonies. Britain had just lost the War of Independence; Bryant thus languished in a hulk in More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Beautiful Balts: From displaced persons to new Australians' by Jayne Persian

Francesca Sasnaitis
30 November 2017

I grew up in a New Australian household, and admit at the outset to a biased view. My Lithuanian-born parents were actual Baltic immigrants among the other nationalities referred to by the More

John Rickard reviews 'Collecting for the Nation: The Australiana Fund' edited by Jennifer Sanders

John Rickard
28 November 2017

In 1976, when Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and his wife, Tamie, were on an official visit to the White House in Washington, she was shown the collection of Americana acquired through the More

Michael Winkler reviews 'Australian Gypsies: Their secret history' by Mandy Sayer

Michael Winkler
24 November 2017

In the Australia of my childhood, the Gypsy skirt was fashionable, ABC Radio played Django Reinhardt, ‘The Gypsy Rover’ was in school songbooks, peripatetic players were called ‘Gyps More

Billy Griffiths reviews 'The Vandemonian War: The secret history of Britain’s Tasmanian invasion' by Nick Brodie

Billy Griffiths
29 August 2017

Nick Brodie, a medievalist and ‘professional history nerd’, enjoys writing in a revelatory tone. His latest book ...

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Agnes Nieuwenhuizen reviews 'Australian Lives: An intimate history' by Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson

Agnes Nieuwenhuizen
23 July 2017

Meet Ruth Apps, born 1926 and gleefully proud of her Irish convict ancestry. Her father lost the use of an arm in Gallipoli and was also mentally affected. During World War II he slept in More

Alan Atkinson reviews 'Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal people of coastal Sydney' by Paul Irish

Alan Atkinson
23 July 2017

Nothing has done more to add to the ingenuity of Australian history writing than the study of Indigenous experience. This book, which concentrates on people living in Sydney and its immedi More

Simon Caterson reviews 'Code Breakers: Inside the shadow world of signals intelligence in Australia’s two Bletchley Parks' by Craig Collie

Simon Caterson
29 May 2017

In architectural terms, if no other, the Australian counterpart to the famous World War II code breaking centre at Bletchley Park initially could not have been more different. While Alan Turing and his celebrated colleagues cracked the German Enigma code at a secluded mansion in the English countryside, Australia’s code breakers began working out of a nondescript ... More

Philip Jones reviews 'Into the heart of Tasmania: A search for human antiquity' by Rebe Taylor

Philip Jones
28 April 2017

The historian Rebe Taylor has a fascination with Australia’s southern islands and their capacity to contain or magnify issues of identity for their indigenous inhabitants, if not for the More

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