Australian History

Jacqueline Kent reviews 'The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the Media and Team Rudd Contrived to Bring down the Prime Minister' by Kerry-Anne Walsh

Jacqueline Kent
22 August 2013
Jacqueline Kent – Julia Gillard’s first biographer – reviews journalist Kerry-Anne Walsh’s highly partisan account of Gillard’s ill-fated prime ministership and the ceaseless hospitality of the Rudd camp. More

Stephanie Owen Reeder reviews new picture books addressing war

Stephanie Owen Reeder
27 June 2013

Depicting war in a picture book requires a deft hand. Historical imperatives need to be considered, while also avoiding glorifying war for a young and impressionable audience. Ideally, such books should promote informed discussion rather than mindless militarism.

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John Thompson on 'Glorious Days: Australia 1913'

John Thompson
27 June 2013

Not altogether surprisingly, the centenary this year of the foundation and naming of Canberra as the national capital of Australia has passed without any conspicuous celebration of the event beyond the confines of the city itself. Conceived to embody and represent the aspirations of the new Australian nation, unfettered by the rivalries and jealousies of the s ... More

Norman Etherington reviews 'The Last Blank Spaces'

Norman Etherington
27 May 2013

Dane Kennedy reminds us that not so long ago exploring held an honoured place among recognised professions. Today, though, the job is extinct. For about a century and a half, the business More

Robert Phiddian on 'Taking Stock: The Humanities in Australia'

Robert Phiddian
27 May 2013

This is a highly intelligent collection of essays by some of the nation’s finest minds about the ebb and flow of intellectual endeavour in the humanities since the institution of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1969. In the thirty-one essays – built around keynotes, panels, and responses – there are too many gems among them for me to be willing to ... More

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Air Disaster Canberra'

Lyndon Megarrity
28 April 2013

On 13 August 1940 a Hudson Bomber travelling from Melbourne crashed near Canberra, killing all ten people on board. Three of the deceased were federal ministers: Geoffrey Street (army minister), Sir Henry S. Gullett (vice-president of the Executive Council), and James Fairbairn (minister for air and civil aviation). Also on board that day was Cyril Brudenell Bingham ... More

Dean Biron reviews 'Three Crooked Kings' by Matthew Condon

Dean Biron
27 April 2013

In April 2012, barely a week after Queensland had elected a conservative government to office for the first time in twenty-six years, Campbell Newman announced the abolition of the state-funded premier’s literary awards. The decision, despite disingenuous claims to the contrary, was entirely symbolic, coming as it did before Newman’s Liberal National Party ... More

Jen Webb reviews Paul Daley's 'Canberra'

Jen Webb
25 March 2013

Canberra leads a double life: by day the federal capital, crafting legislation and performing on the world stage; at night it is transformed into a suburban neighbourhood where people cook their meals and pay their bills and water their gardens. But a pervasive view of Canberra is that it is the home only of public servants on secondment; that it is just a waste of ... More

Harry Brumpton reviews 'Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home' edited by Kent MacCarter and Ali Lemer

Harry Brumpton
06 March 2013

If you are a new arrival, welcome to Australia. You will be living in a country that is stable, prosperous and democratic. You will also be joining a culturally diverse but cohesive society made up of Australians of many backgrounds, united by shared values and responsibilities.

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Andy Lloyd James reviews '26 Views of the Starburst World'

Andy Lloyd James
29 January 2013

Words matter, and there can be few more misleading ones in Australian history than ‘settlement’, as used to describe the period immediately following the arrival of the First Fleet. It connotes understanding and agreement. In Sydney Cove, by contrast, five distinct groups were present: Governor Phillip and his immediate entourage; naval vessels and their crews; ... More

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