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Frank Bongiorno

Frank Bongiorno

Frank Bongiorno is Professor of History at the Australian National University and is President of the Australian Historical Association. His recent publications include Dreamers and Schemers: A political history of Australia (La Trobe University Press, 2022) and The Eighties: The decade that transformed Australia (Black Inc., 2015) and he is co-editor, with Benjamin T. Jones and John Uhr, of Elections Matter: Ten federal elections that shaped Australia (Monash University Publishing, 2018). The second and updated edition of A Little History of the Australian Labor Party, written with Nick Dyrenfurth, is published by UNSW Press on 1 May 2024.

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'The Bush: Travels in the heart of Australia' by Don Watson

October 2014, no. 365 01 October 2014
Late in 1986, the Australian Bicentennial Authority took sixty celebrities off to Uluru to make the television advertisement containing the jingle ‘Celebration of a Nation’. Just as the shoot finished, a heavy storm broke, prompting the stars to run for cover. ‘Oh, darling,’ cried Jeanne Little, a popular television personality at the time. ‘The real Australia’s quite frightening, isn ... (read more)

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'Dreaming Too Loud: Reflections on a race apart' by Geoffrey Robertson

February 2014, no. 358 16 January 2014
If the London Australian expatriate community has an aristocracy of sorts – as it clearly does – then Geoffrey Robertson QC and the novelist Kathy Lette, his wife since 1990, would be among its leading nobility. Robertson and Lette mix with royalty, both real and literary (‘our daughters had been flower girls at Salman’s wedding – I can’t remember which one’). I would love to have be ... (read more)

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia's bohemians' by Tony Moore

November 2013, no. 356 31 October 2013
Tony Moore’s engaging account of Australian bohemians begins with Marcus Clarke and takes us through to Julian Assange. Along the way we encounter Australian bohemia in its diverse expressions, from the art of the Heidelberg School, writing of the Bulletin, high jinks of 1920s Sydney bohemia to the Sydney Push, Melbourne Drift, 1960s counterculture (in both its local and London expatriate manife ... (read more)

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'A History of Australia' by Mark Peel and Christina Twomey

April 2012, no. 340 01 April 2012
‘The product under consideration is Shist.’ So began New Zealand historian Keith Sinclair’s discussion of short histories in 1968. His irreverent diminutive is still occasionally heard among professional historians of a certain age. It is less often recalled that Sinclair was defending the worth of the short history against those who might think ‘Shist beneath their dignity’. After all, ... (read more)
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