History

Michael Sexton reviews Australia's Vietnam: Myth vs history by Mark Dapin

Michael Sexton
21 April 2019

Almost all historical events are attended by myths, some of them remarkably persistent, but Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War has perhaps more than its fair share. Mark Dapin ha More

Josh Specht reviews A People’s History of Computing in the United States by Joy Lisi Rankin

Joshua Specht
26 March 2019

According to most accounts, the history of computing is a triumph of enterprise. This story starts in the 1950s and 1960s with commercial mainframe computers that, one stack of punch-cards More

Alison Broinowski reviews Japan Story: In Search of a Nation, 1850 to the present by Christopher Harding

Alison Broinowski
25 March 2019

Our tutor in Japanese conversation at the Australian National University in 1968, rather than listen to us mangling his language, used to write the kanji for all the political factions on More

Ian Dickson reviews Dramatic Exchanges: The lives and letters of the National Theatre edited by Daniel Rosenthal

Ian Dickson
25 March 2019

What exactly is a National Theatre for? What is its purpose? What form should it take? National theatres come in many configurations. There is the four-hundred-year-old Comédie-Française More

Glyn Davis reviews Prime Movers: From Pericles to Gandhi by Ferdinand Mount

Glyn Davis
25 March 2019

Describe the twelve most influential thinkers who shaped Western political traditions. Chaos must ensue. Your list will be outrageous, but mine also. Consider whom you leave off the roll-c More

Zora Simic reviews The Seventies: The personal, the political and the making of modern Australia by Michelle Arrow

Zora Simic
25 March 2019

The first volume in this series, Beverley Kingston’s A History of New South Wales, was published in 2006. Since then another five have appeared, including a book on Tasmania by More

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews A History of South Australia by Paul Sendziuk and Robert Foster

Kerryn Goldsworthy
25 March 2019

The first volume in this series, Beverley Kingston’s A History of New South Wales, was published in 2006. Since then another five have appeared, including a book on Tasmania by More

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews The Kremlin Letters edited by David Reynolds and Vladimir Pechatnov

Sheila Fitzpatrick
25 March 2019

Joseph Stalin wanted this wartime correspondence published, and one can see why: he comes off best. As the authors comment, ‘the transcript of the Big Three meetings demonstrates Stalin’s careful mastery of the issues and his superior skill as a diplomatist, regularly keeping his silence but then speaking out in a terse and timely manner at key moments’. He is ... More

Trevor Burnard reviews 'Freedom in White and Black: A lost story of the illegal slave trade and its global legacy' by Emma Christopher

Trevor Burnard
31 December 2018

Because the settlement of Australia by the British proceeded in a certain way, we tend to forget how unusual it was in 1788 to start a colony without slavery. The year 1788 saw the first m More

Kyle Wilson reviews 'The Secret World: A history of intelligence' by Christopher Andrew

Kyle Wilson
18 December 2018

The world’s best-known espionage officer, Vladimir Putin, would relish Christopher Andrew’s account of the role of his fellow practitioners at the 1816 Congress of Vienna. The secret s More

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