Michael Cathcart

Michael Cathcart abridged Manning Clark’s History of Australia.

Michael Cathcart reviews 'Speaking Out of Turn: Lectures and speeches, 1940–1991' by Manning Clark

December 1997–January 1998, no. 197 01 December 1997
Michael Cathcart reviews 'Speaking Out of Turn: Lectures and speeches, 1940–1991' by Manning Clark
I heard Manning Clark lecture just once. It was in 1981. He was addressing a hall packed with school students who were attending a history camp at the Australian National University. That night, Clark demonstrated two qualities which distinguish most good lecturers: he played a character who was an enlarged version of himself, and he convinced the gathering that his topic was central to any unders ... (read more)

Michael Cathcart reviews 'Australian Nationalism: A documentary history' edited by Stephen Alomes and Catherine Jones

August 1991, no. 133 01 August 1991
Michael Cathcart reviews 'Australian Nationalism: A documentary history' edited by Stephen Alomes and Catherine Jones
A collection of documents that dramatises particular nationalist traditions and debates with the dynamism of a really good anthology. First a confession. I’ve never been excited by the idea of reading a book of documents. Such collections come in useful if you’re a teacher or a historian (exactly what did Menzies say in his ‘melancholy duty’ speech at the outbreak of the Second World War? ... (read more)

Michael Cathcart reviews 'A Shorter History of Australia' by Geoffrey Blainey

December 1994, no. 167 01 December 1994
Michael Cathcart reviews 'A Shorter History of Australia' by Geoffrey Blainey
Like Manning Clark, Blainey sees history as a story of progress in which Western civilisation develops from a kind of primal baseline. But the dynamic force which drives events in Blainey’s history is more tangible-more material-than in Clark’s. As Blainey himself explains, he regards technology and economics as being far more important agents of change than politics. He locates the origins of ... (read more)