Australian History

Michael McGirr reviews A New History of the Irish in Australia by Elizabeth Malcolm and Dianne Hall

Michael McGirr
22 February 2019

There is much to admire about this detailed and painstaking book. The authors have entered a field that is replete with stereotypes and even gags. They will have none of it. The result is More

James Walter reviews 'Tiberius with a Telephone: The life and stories of William McMahon' by Patrick Mullins

James Walter
18 December 2018

Billy McMahon, Australia’s twentieth prime minister, held the post for less than two years (March 1971–December 1972). In surveys of both public esteem and professional opinion, he is More

Alan Atkinson reviews 'The Land of Dreams: How Australians won their freedom, 1788–1860' by David Kemp

Alan Atkinson
18 December 2018

This is the first of a five-volume series, apparently all by David Kemp, with the general title Australian Liberalism. The second volume, A Free Country: Australians’ search More

Alan Atkinson reviews 'The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the early colony, 1788–1817' by Stephen Gapps

Alan Atkinson
25 July 2018

The Uluru Statement from the Heart, in May 2017, might not have had much resonance with the federal government. However, it coincides with a new phase of writing and research that helps to More

Marilyn Lake reviews 'Best We Forget: The war for white Australia, 1914–18' by Peter Cochrane

Marilyn Lake
25 July 2018

In pondering the construction of public memory in Ireland, the eminent American historian Richard White insisted on the demythologising work of history as a discipline: ‘History is the e More

Alan Atkinson reviews 'The Bible in Australia: A cultural history' by Meredith Lake

Alan Atkinson
24 April 2018

The Bible in Australia is an unpretentious title for a remarkable book, and yet it is accurate enough. The Bible has been an ever-present aspect of life in Australia for 230 years More

Rémy Davison reviews 'America Looks to Australia: The hidden role of Richard Casey in the creation of the Australia–America alliance, 1940–1942' by James Prior

Rémy Davison
26 March 2018

Duumvirates frequently dominate politics, irrespective of whether they are partners or rivals: Napoleon and Talleyrand; Nixon and Kissinger; Mao and Deng. But few second bananas survive hi More

Lucas Thompson reviews 'Mirror Sydney' by Vanessa Berry

Lucas Thompson
22 December 2017

Cities are essentially palimpsests, layered with overlapping lives, structures, and stories. Constantly in flux, each city is a sprawling and unwieldy text that is continually being rewrit More

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

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