Ian Donaldson reviews 'Shame and Honor'

Ian Donaldson
26 February 2013

Two photographs from the present book, caught by the British press in 2009, vividly testify both to the fun and to the difficulty of maintaining ancient ritual in the modern world. In the first, a widely grinning Prince Harry, one leg extended in parody of traditional marching style, with an equally mirthful Kate Middleton by his side, stands amidst a crowd of ... More

Norman Etherington reviews 'History in the Making'

Norman Etherington
25 January 2013

A million people thronged the streets of Barcelona on 11 September 2012, clamouring for liberty. This had been their special day long before 9/11. Like Gallipoli, it commemorates a defeat: the rout of the Catalans and their Austrian Hapsburg allies by the Bourbon monarch Philip V of Spain on 11 September 1714 in the closing stages of the War of the Spanish Successio ... More

Norman Etherington on 'Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe'

Norman Etherington
24 October 2012

Norman Davies illustrates the literary life available to a score or so of living historians whose works at one time or another made the bestseller lists. Like Simon Schama, Niall Ferguson, and Paul Kennedy, he occupies a place in a Valhalla where the normal rules don’t apply. Instead of waiting nervously for publishers to give thumbs up to a cherished manuscript, ... More

Neal Blewett on 'Thinking the Twentieth Century'

Neal Blewett
28 May 2012

This author, this book, and its composition are all extraordinary. Tony Judt, one of the most distinguished historians of his generation, made his name with studies of French intellectual history, then in 2005 he published his masterwork, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. For me this is the finest historical study written this century. Empirically gr ... More

Geoffrey Blainey: A Short History of Christianity

Philip Harvey
22 May 2012

Philip Harvey


A Short History of Christianity
by Geoffrey Blainey
Viking, $45 hb, 617 pp, 9780670075249


Any recent ‘big picture’ church history will suffer by comparison with Diarmaid MacCulloch’s A History of Christianity (2009). That book dis ... More

Mark Peel and Christina Twomey: A History of Australia

Frank Bongiorno
21 March 2012

Transcending obvious sources in a new short history

Frank Bongiorno


A History of Australia
by Mark Peel and Christina Twomey
Palgrave Macmillan, $49.95 pb, 320 pp, 9780230001640


‘The product under consideration is Shist.’ So be ... More

Robin Prior reviews 'All Hell Let Loose'

Robin Prior
23 January 2012

It is a brave undertaking to write a single-volume history of World War II. As Max Hastings notes, we already have many good books in this category: Weinberg, A World At Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994); Calvocoressi, Wint, and Pritchard, Total War: The Causes and Courses of the Second World War (1989); Millett and Murray, A War To ... More

Henry Reynolds: A History of Tasmania

John Hirst
21 January 2012


John Hirst


A History of Tasmania
by Henry Reynolds
Cambridge University Press, $39.95 pb, 336 pp, 9780521548373


Henry Reynolds is the pre-eminent historian of Aboriginal–settler relations in Australia, and with this theme he begins his ... More

James Waite: The Premier and the Pastoralist

Bernard Whimpress
21 January 2012

Boom companions

Bernard Whimpress


by James Waite
MorganWakefield Press, $34.95 hb, 192 pp, 9781862549722


Family histories have their limitations. One compensation is to discover famous o ... More

Philippa Mein Smith: A Concise History of New Zealand

Rachel Buchanan
20 January 2012

Foreign objects

Rachel Buchanan


A Concise History of New Zealand
by Philippa Mein Smith
Cambridge University Press, $39.95 pb, 320 pp, 9781107402171


New Zealand coins often sneak into Australian purses. Both currencies bear the queen’s, and some ... More

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