History

Jo Scanlan reviews 'The Boy Colonel'

Jo Scanlan
30 September 2013

So many Australian scholars and writers stand tall alongside C.E.W. Bean that you have to wonder: is there much more that can be said about World War I? Well, no. And yes. Almost one hundred years on, writers such as battlefield historian Will Davies continue to seek illumination through unfamiliar characters and fresh ang ... More

Stuart Macintyre on 'The Undivided Past'

Stuart Macintyre
27 September 2013

David Cannadine is a distinguished transatlantic historian, the author of books on modern Britain and its empire, the biographer of G.M. Trevelyan and Andrew Mellon, and he recently wrote a perceptive account of the persistent anxiety over school history. An iconoclastic thinker and urbane stylist, Cannadine excels in the extended essay that overturns a conven ... More

A History of Silence

Kári Gíslason
25 September 2013

Memoirist Kári Gíslason reviews New Zealander author Lloyd Jones’s ‘brilliant memoir’ about the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch and a series of ancestral silences.

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Rendezvous with Destiny

Dennis Altman
25 September 2013

Michael Fullilove, head of the Lowy Institute, has written about President Roosevelt and the men who helped him to guide the US so reluctantly into World War II. Dennis Altman reviews this model of academic research.< More

In the Moscow archives

Sheila Fitzpatrick
22 August 2013
Distinguished Soviet historian Sheila Fitzpatrick – now back in Australia – writes about her remarkable experiences in Moscow from 1966 and about the perils of being an exchange student and researcher. More

Neal Blewett reviews 'Perilous Question'

Neal Blewett
25 June 2013

Over fifty years have passed since I wrote my first tutorial essay in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE), or Modern Greats, as it was known in Oxford. The subject was the Great Reform Bill of 1832, which for the first time in over a century expanded the right to vote and redrew the electoral map of Great Britain. I had planned to read history, but when ... 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 of exploration was most vigorously pursued in Africa and Australia, yet among the thousands of volumes devoted to exploring expeditions on each continent, this is the first to take ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'The Untold History of the United States'

Alison Broinowski
25 March 2013

It is ten years since the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the few countries willing to join it. Happening to be in Washington in February, and recalling worldwide protests in 2003, I was struck by what seems to be American amnesia about the war and its consequences. At least in Australia groups are exploring ways to prevent such catastrophic expediti ... More

2013 Calibre Prize (Winner): Because it's Your Country

Martin Thomas
24 March 2013

The morgue in Gunbalanya holds no more than half a dozen corpses – and, as usual, it was full. When the Old Man died in the wet season of 2012, they had to fly him to Darwin, only to discover that the morgue there was already overcrowded. So they moved him again, this time to Katherine, where they put him on ice until the funeral. The hot climate notwithstan ... More

Nick Hordern reviews 'Moscow, the Fourth Rome'

Nicholas Hordern
07 March 2013

In Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, the hero Robert Jordan, an American fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, receives some advice from Karkov, a Russian ‘journalist’ at the unofficial Soviet headquarters in Madrid.

Jordan has been pressing Karkov on whether the Soviets consider the assassi ... More

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