Lydon, Jane & Lyndall Ryan, ed.: Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre

Jane Lydon & Lyndall Ryan, ed. Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018; electronic version available The 1838 Myall Creek Massacre is remembered for the brutality of the crime committed by white settlers against innocent Aboriginal men, women and

Click here for all items related to: ,

Goreng Goreng, Tjanara: A powerful remembrance of the Myall Creek massacre and of all that is reprehensible about the colonisation of Australia

Tjanara Goreng Goreng* ‘A powerful remembrance of the Myall Creek massacre and of all that is reprehensible about the colonisation of Australia’, Honest History, 16 October 2018 Tjanara Goreng Goreng reviews Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre, edited by Jane Lydon

Click here for all items related to: ,

Wakeling, Adam: Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials

Adam Wakeling Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, Penguin Viking, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available While the Nuremberg trials at the end of the Second World War are infamous, as are the atrocities

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Burton, Pamela: Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II

Pamela Burton* ‘Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II’, Honest History, 12 October 2018 Pamela Burton reviews Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, by Adam Wakeling

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Morrissey, Doug: Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves

Doug Morrissey Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves, Connor Court Publishing, Brisbane, 2018 Doug Morrissey’s acclaimed book Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life (2015) was short listed for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History in 2016. This, his second

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Piggott, Michael: Flourishing myths and the weight of evidence: Ned Kelly again

Michael Piggott* ‘Flourishing myths and the weight of evidence: Ned Kelly again’, Honest History, 12 October 2018 Doug Morrissey’s Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves is reviewed by Michael Piggott Doug Morrissey’s new book has several preliminaries. As well

Click here for all items related to: , ,

A wide-angle lens on Great War commemoration: a German scholar speaks in Canberra

Australian commemoration of war tends to be fairly parochial. We know much, much more about what Australians did in our wars (even when these actions had only marginal effect on war objectives) than about the broad sweep of these wars,

Bell, Diane: Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom is a Big Book about Big Ideas

Diane Bell* ‘Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom is a Big Book about Big Ideas’, Honest History, 7 October 2018 Diane Bell reviews You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World: Democracy Trilogy, Book

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Wright, Clare: You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World: Democracy Trilogy, Book Two

Clare Wright You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World: Democracy Trilogy, Book Two, Text, Melbourne, 2018 For the ten years from 1902, when Australia’s suffrage campaigners won the vote for white women, the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Cochrane, Peter: Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Peter Cochrane Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18, Text, Melbourne, 2018 In the half-century preceding the Great War there was a dramatic shift in the mindset of Australia’s political leaders, from a profound sense of safety in

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stanley, Peter: The most important book on Australia and the Great War

Peter Stanley* ‘The most important book on Australia and the Great War’, Honest History, 7 October 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Peter Cochrane’s Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 The Great War centenary has seen a goodly trickle

Click here for all items related to: ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 53, 28 September 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 © Honest History marks five years with a symposium in Canberra ‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’: an Honest History symposium in conjunction with the Australian National University, Law Lecture Theatre, ANU, Canberra, Thursday, 8 November 2018 With Frank

Raffin, Greg: Mutiny on the Western Front: 1918

Greg Raffin Mutiny on the Western Front: 1918, Big Sky Publishing, Newport NSW, 2018 On 21 September 1918, with retreating German forces on their last legs, the 1st Battalion of the AIF was ordered to return to the front just as they

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Can mutiny sometimes be the most rational act for a soldier?

David Stephens ‘Can mutiny sometimes be the most rational act for a soldier?’ Honest History, 4 October 2018 David Stephens reviews Mutiny on the Western Front: 1918 by Greg Raffin Anything worth doing usually takes a while. Retired history teacher

Click here for all items related to: ,

News from Fort Campbell ACT 2612: Charles Bean Western Front diaries launched; Remembrance Day peace demonstration stopped

Yesterday saw the launching of a volume of Charles Bean’s Western Front diary entries. Present at the Australian War Memorial were the Deputy Prime Minister, the editor of the volume, Peter Burness, Bean’s grand-daughter, Ms Anne Carroll, and the Memorial

Broinowski, Richard: Is Asia closer to war than at any time in recent history – and do we care enough about this?

Richard Broinowski* ‘Is Asia closer to war than at any time in recent history – and do we care enough about this?’ Honest History, 28 September 2018 Richard Broinowski reviews The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War, by Brendan

Click here for all items related to: ,

Taylor, Brendan: The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War

Brendan Taylor The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War, La Trobe University Press/Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018 In this revelatory analysis, geopolitical expert Brendan Taylor examines the four Asian flashpoints most likely to erupt in sudden and violent conflict: the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Dyster, Barrie: Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice

Barrie Dyster* ‘Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice’, Honest History, 23 September 2018 The centenary of the end of the Great War is an opportunity to reflect on the world-wide impact of the conflict.

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Centenary Watch September-November 1918

Update 28 September 2018: Centenary Watch out; Minister Chester stays in place; Director Nelson makes some speeches; buy a piece of the famous MV Krait; Anzac Bears in schools; poppies and a beam of light Centenary Watch out As we approach

Click here for all items related to:

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (37): Returning home to South Gippsland in 1918

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (37): Returning home to South Gippsland in 1918’, Honest History, 27 September 2018 This is the last post in our ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series. We hope the series has given a useful perspective on the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Daley, Paul: Colonial Australia’s foundation is stained with the profits of British slavery

Paul Daley ‘Colonial Australia’s foundation is stained with the profits of British slavery‘, Guardian Australia, 21 September 2018 Riffs off recently published book, Island Off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of Statecraft in Australian Foreign Policy, by Clinton Fernandes. Fernandes

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Historian Clare Wright’s Canberra appearances, 17 October and 8 November

You Daughters of Freedom, a new book by distinguished historian Clare Wright, is to be published shortly by Text. Subtitled The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World, the book describes the struggle in the years 1902 to

Death of distinguished historian, Emeritus Professor John Molony

Honest History notes the death on 16 September of Emeritus Professor John Molony, distinguished historian across a wide range of subjects. He was 91 years of age. There is a notice in the Melbourne Age and in the Canberra Times.

$1,271,473.76 is the amount the Australian War Memorial admits receiving over three years in donations from military and defence firms

During Budget Estimates hearings, then Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (NSW) asked Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, how much the Memorial had received in donations from military and defence firms. The answer covered the years 2015-16, 2016-17,

Which Bishop moves to represent the Queen?

News today that the current governor-general, Sir Peter Cosgrove – not ‘Sir Bill Cosby’, as a TV caption during the political crisis had him, but everyone was busy and the captioning robot wasn’t the only entity on autopilot – intends

Stephens, David: It’s a cultural thing – isn’t it?

David Stephens ‘It’s a cultural thing – isn’t it?‘ Inside Story, 5 September 2018 A parliamentary inquiry seems to be carefully avoiding the real challenge for Australia’s national museums, archives and libraries … [The inquiry by the Joint Committee on

Click here for all items related to: ,

Fathi, Romain: World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)

Romain Fathi ‘World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)‘, The Conversation, 3 September 2018 updated The article describes: the global conflict that was the Great War: the death toll of over ten million soldiers and six million civilians; the subsequent

Click here for all items related to: ,

Megarrity, Lyndon: Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia

Lyndon Megarrity Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 Northern Dreams brings to life the passionate arguments about Northern Australia’s national significance and analyses the political debates that have periodically drawn the public’s

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Gerritsen, Rolf: An essential and well-timed volume on the development of northern Australia

Rolf Gerritsen* ‘An essential and well-timed volume on the development of northern Australia’, Honest History, 3 September 2018 Rolf Gerritsen reviews Lyndon Megarrity’s Northern Dreams: The Politics of Northern Development in Australia We are nearing the institutional fag end of

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 52: special edition: Honest History symposium, 8 November

‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’ An Honest History symposium in conjunction with the Australian National University Law Lecture Theatre, ANU, Canberra Thursday, 8 November 2018 Frank Bongiorno, Michael Brissenden, Alison Broinowski, Pamela Burton, Michael Cooney, Shaun Crowe, Paul Daley, Emily

Gainsborough, Vance: Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background’, Honest History, 1 September 2018 My (self-published) novelist friend, Ned Rowney, advises me that the keys to a good yarn are Place, Plot

Click here for all items related to: ,

Christina Twomey (Honest History distinguished supporter) wins NSW Australian History Prize for her book The Battle Within

The Australian History Prize in the NSW Premier’s History Awards for 2018 has been awarded to Christina Twomey of Monash University for her book The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia, published by NewSouth. Congratulations to Professor Twomey, who is

FORUM: Neutrality and war powers reform – paths to peace for Australia?: Wednesday, 26 September, Canberra

Honest History Vice President, Alison Broinowski, and Past President, Peter Stanley, are speaking at a Forum put on by IPAN, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. The topic is ‘Neutrality and war powers reform – paths to peace for Australia?’

Growing up in Australia 1901-39: PhD candidate Emily Gallagher on the lookout for evidence; can you help?

Emily Gallagher is doing a PhD at ANU on the history of play and folklore in Australia over the years 1901-39. The era of ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf?’ and ‘Drop the hanky’ and much more besides. Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey c. 1916

Australia’s wars behind the khaki gloss: Peter Monteath’s new book to be launched at National Library

We are always seeing books telling ‘previously untold’ stories about our wars. This one deserves the description more than most: Peter Monteath’s Captured Lives: Australia’s Wartime Internment Camps, from NLA Publishing. The author will be giving a lecture (NLA fourth floor

History and its use and abuse in politics: Canberra workshop coming up, 5 September (and audio of Chris Uhlmann lecture)

Funnily enough, given the deja vu-ness of this week’s events in Canberra, some experts are getting together on 5 September to look at the use and abuse of history in the political process. Details are here. Speakers include Honest History

Searle, Rick: Charles Ulm: The Untold Story of One of Australia’s Greatest Aviation Pioneers

Rick Searle Charles Ulm: The Untold Story of One of Australia’s Greatest Aviation Pioneers, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2018 Charles Ulm and Charles Kingsford Smith were two of the most important pioneers of Australian aviation. Together they succeeded in a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Myrtle, John: Charles Ulm’s vision and determination made him a pioneer of Australian aviation

 John Myrtle* ‘Charles Ulm’s vision and determination made him a pioneer of Australian aviation’, Honest History, 20 August 2018 John Myrtle reviews Charles Ulm: The Untold Story of One of Australia’s Greatest Aviation Pioneers by Rick Searle More than 80

Click here for all items related to: ,

Alfano, Mark: They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same

Mark Alfano ‘They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same‘, The Conversation, 20 August 2018 Perceptive piece from a philosopher; based on frequency analysis of Islamic State

Click here for all items related to: ,

Read, John L.: Dear Grandpa, Why? Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima

John L. Read Dear Grandpa, Why? Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 Edward Tompson Mobsby, father of twin baby girls, volunteered for war service and was shot down by the Japanese in New Guinea in 1942. John

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Abbott, Derek: Coming to grips with Grandpa, Japan and wars

Derek Abbott[*] ‘Coming to grips with Grandpa, Japan and wars’, Honest History, 18 August 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Dear Grandpa, Why? Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima by John L. Read Edward Mobsby, ‘Mobs’ to his mates, enlisted in the RAAF

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Guilt and hagiography: Bongiorno and Stanley quoted on Brendan Nelson and Ben Roberts-Smith

Michael Bachelard, Fairfax investigative reporter, has a piece today quoting, among others, Honest History president, Frank Bongiorno, and past-president, Peter Stanley, on the inappropriateness of recent comments by War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, regarding the investigation into Ben Roberts-Smith VC.

Congratulations to Meredith Lake, 2018 Australian Christian Book of the Year for The Bible in Australia

This award was announced today in Books and Publishing. Douglas Hynd reviewed the book for Honest History. We thought the cover was pretty good, also. 17 August 2018

Honest History at 5 years: a symposium, 8 November, ANU, Canberra: ‘presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’

‘Presenting, choosing, measuring, changing history’ An Honest History symposium in conjunction with the Australian National University, Law Lecture Theatre, ANU, Canberra, Thursday, 8 November 2018 With Frank Bongiorno, Michael Brissenden, Alison Broinowski, Pamela Burton, Michael Cooney, Shaun Crowe, Paul Daley,

Roberts, Chris & Peter Stanley: Monash: myth and reality

Chris Roberts & Peter Stanley[*] ‘Monash: myth and reality’, Honest History, 15 August 2018 updated [This article appears just after the centenary of the Battle of Amiens and of the conferring of Monash’s knighthood. Other relevant material on the Honest History

Broinowski, Alison: Conspiracies are not all theoretical: some letters to Trump

Alison Broinowski* ‘Conspiracies are not all theoretical: some letters to Trump’, Honest History, 13 August 2018 ©Alison Broinowski 2018 Before the 2016 election, candidate Donald Trump told voters he would ‘find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center’.

Click here for all items related to:

Barritt-Eyles, Lisa: Remembering the Gulf War

Lisa Barritt-Eyles ‘Remembering the Gulf War‘, Australian Outlook, 2 August 2018 Concise outline from a PhD student of Australia’s involvement in the Gulf War, 1990-91. On 2nd August 28 years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait amid the uncertainty of the changing

Click here for all items related to: ,

Don’t forget Best We Forget: important Canberra literary event this Sunday at Muse Kingston

Honest History president and ANU History head of school, Professor Frank Bongiorno, is in conversation with Peter Cochrane, author of the recently published Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18. The event is at Muse Kingston at 3

Flanagan, Richard: The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too

Richard Flanagan ‘The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too‘, Guardian Australia, 5 August 2018 Speech at Garma festival, NT, by distinguished author. (Over 500 comments at time of this

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Professional Historians Association National Conference is on in Sydney, 30-31 August

Australia’s professional historians are conferencing in Sydney at the end of this month (State Library of NSW) and the details are here. It’s on at the same time as the NSW Premier’s History Awards. The conference topic is ‘Marking Time’,

Clark, Anna: Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on

Anna Clark ‘Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on‘, The Conversation, 3 August 2018 updated Marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Boyer lectures by anthropologist WEH Stanner, which drew attention to Australian reluctance to confront our Indigenous

Click here for all items related to: ,

Reynolds, Henry: A hundred years of mateship (2)

Henry Reynolds ‘A hundred years of mateship (2)‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 July 2018 Follows an earlier piece under the same title and riffs off an ill-judged poster from the Australian Embassy in Washington. The poster was intended to illustrate

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything ‘sacred’?

David Stephens* ‘Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything “sacred”?’, Honest History, 3 August 2018 updated The Australian War Memorial has been talking for more than a year about its desire to extend its building

Click here for all items related to: ,

New Zealand joins nuclear ban treaty; Australia remains opposed

Here is a media statement from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, noting the agreement by New Zealand to the United Nations treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. While Australia has joined treaties banning chemical weapons, biological weapons, landmines and

Whish-Wilson, Senator Peter: Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson* ‘Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival’, Honest History, 1 August 2018 updated This article is posted as a contribution to public debate. These issues are also canvassed elsewhere on

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Douglas, Bob: What will it take to restore governance to its rightful owners?

Bob Douglas ‘What will it take to restore governance to its rightful owners?’, Pearls and Irritations, 26 July 2018 Around the world, and also here in Australia, voters are turning away from the political process, alarmed at the capture of

Click here for all items related to: ,

Keating, Michael: The future Budget outlook – a comment on the Parliamentary Budget Office report on trends affecting the sustainability of Commonwealth taxes

Michael Keating ‘The future Budget outlook – a comment on the Parliamentary Budget Office report on trends affecting the sustainability of Commonwealth taxes‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 July 2018 The independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has released a report on

Click here for all items related to: ,

Morris, Shireen: The Uluru Statement from the Heart: why I have hope

Shireen Morris ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart: why I have hope‘, Legal Affairs (University of Melbourne), 19 July 2018 The Uluru Statement created a massive political opportunity that is not going away. The opportunity remains alive and growing –

Click here for all items related to: ,

Three diary dates: Jeffrey Grey book Canberra launch; Griffith Review 61 Canberra launch; Peter Cochrane at Brisbane Writers Festival on World War I as a war for White Australia

Jeff Grey: A Life in History, launch, 4.30 – 6.00 pm, Thursday, 2 August, UNSW Canberra; register Griffith Review 61: Who We Are launch, 3–4 pm, Sunday, 5 August, Muse, Kingston, Canberra; $12 (tickets available here) Peter Cochrane talks about

Margaret Macmillan Reith Lectures 2018 ‘The Mark of Cain’: on war and humanity

Update 12 October 2020: Macmillan turned the lectures into a book, reviewed here. *** The 2018 Reith lectures by distinguished Canadian historian, Professor Margaret Macmillan, can be found on the BBC site, in audio and transcript. The series has the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Harman, Kristyn: Explainer: how Tasmania’s Aboriginal people reclaimed a language, palawa kani

Kristyn Harman ‘Explainer: how Tasmania’s Aboriginal people reclaimed a language, palawa kani‘, The Conversation, 19 July 2018 Tasmanian Aboriginal people continue to live on the Bass Strait Islands, in rural and urban Tasmania and elsewhere. Their culture, although severely disrupted

Click here for all items related to:

Gullibility on steroids? An Australian precedent for politicians believing – or pretending to believe – what Moscow tells them

We posted this in February 2017 in response to a previous protestation by President Trump about what the Russians had been doing and when they had been doing it. It’s well worth running again. Update 20 July 2018: the story

Click here for all items related to: ,

Jones, Benjamin T.: Where does Mark Latham sit among Labor rats?

Benjamin T. Jones ‘Where does Mark Latham sit among Labor rats?‘ Independent Australia, 13 July 2018 Historical survey from 1911 through Hughes, Lyons, Lang and the Groupers, with a few more mentioned in the comments from readers. ‘Contrary to [Graham]

Click here for all items related to:

Looking forward and Lest We Forget: two thought-provoking contributions for NAIDOC Week 2018

ABC RN Breakfast this morning had a NAIDOC Week discussion between presenter Hamish Macdonald and four Indigenous Australians, Mikaela Jade (story-telling technology entrepreneur), Evelyn Araluen (poet and Indigenous literature researcher), Kris Rallah-Baker (opthalmologist), and Ben Abbatangelo (education mentor). Well worth

Stephens, David: Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia

David Stephens[*] ‘Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia’, Honest History, 12 July 2018 updated David Stephens reviews Dunera Lives: A Visual History, by Ken Inglis, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter, with

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Dunera Lives is well and truly launched: speeches by Frank Bongiorno in Canberra and Raimond Gaita in Melbourne

Dunera Lives: A Visual History was launched in Canberra on 4 July by Frank Bongiorno and in Melbourne on 8 and 9 July by Raimond Gaita. Frank Bongiorno’s speech and Raimond Gaita’s speech, both by courtesy of the authors. David

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Inglis, Ken, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan: Dunera Lives: A Visual History

Ken Inglis, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan Dunera Lives: A Visual History, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 In July 1940, around 2000 refugees, most of whom were Jewish and from Germany or Austria, were sent from Britain

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Morrissey, Douglas: Stringybark Creek and Glenrowan still resonate but can we ever hit the right note? Ned Kelly movies considered

Douglas Morrissey* ‘Stringybark Creek and Glenrowan still resonate but can we ever hit the right note? Ned Kelly movies considered’, Honest History, 9 July 2018 Recently, there has been an abundance of enthusiastic moviemakers wanting to make films about Ned

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Whiteford, Peter: Good times, bad times

Peter Whiteford ‘Good times, bad times‘, Inside Story, 5 July 2018 Looks at recent evidence of growing inequality in Australia, mostly driven by gains among the highest earners. There is little doubt that inequality is worse now than it was

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Catching up with the Australian Historical Association Conference 2018: Yvonne Perkins aka perkinsy tweeted it as it happened

If you missed the AHA Conference last week in Canberra (or couldn’t afford it) then ace blogger Yvonne Perkins tweeted up a storm here, keeping track of the event as it happened. Yvonne also blogs at Stumbling through the Past

FitzSimons, Peter: Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World

Peter FitzSimons Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World, Hachette, Sydney, 2018; e-book available Peter FitzSimons brings to life the story of the battle of Le Hamel – the Allied triumph masterminded

Click here for all items related to: ,

Richardson, Andrew: Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel

Andrew Richardson[1] ‘Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel’, Honest History, 4 July 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Peter FitzSimons’ Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93

Click here for all items related to: ,

Dando-Collins, Stephen: Heroes of Hamel: : The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare

Stephen Dando-Collins Heroes of Hamel: The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare, Vintage & Random House, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available The battle of Hamel was remarkable for its speed, the tactics employed, numerous acts of extreme bravery,

Click here for all items related to: ,

Bean counted in: new ACT federal electorate to be named after Charles Bean

After due process for federal electorate redistribution in the ACT, the new third seat is to be named after Charles Bean, war correspondent and war historian. Announcement from the Australian Electoral Commission. Fairfax story. Michelle Grattan in The Conversation. Honest

Bongiorno, Frank: From “Toby Tosspot” to “Mr Harbourside Mansion”, personal insults are an Australian tradition

Frank Bongiorno ‘From “Toby Tosspot” to “Mr Harbourside Mansion”, personal insults are an Australian tradition‘, The Conversation, 29 June 2018 ‘Political name-calling and insults are sometimes like water off a duck’s back. But others can stick.’ A useful survey. Frank

Click here for all items related to:

Davison, Graeme: The year of living anxiously

Graeme Davison ‘The year of living anxiously‘, Inside Story, 26 June 2018 Long review of the recently published book by Phillipa McGuinness, NewSouth publisher. The book is called The Year Everything Changed: 2001. The book offers, says Davison an understanding

Click here for all items related to: ,

Daley, Paul: How do we settle the “statue wars”? Let’s start by telling the truth about our past

Paul Daley ‘How do we settle the “statue wars”? Let’s start by telling the truth about our past‘, Guardian Australia, 29 June 2018 The author says colonial-era statues, properly considered, can lead us towards an honest history. The article riffs

Click here for all items related to: ,

Avoiding entertainment and including a warning to youngsters, the War Memorial does the Battle of Hamel all over again – virtually and immersively

Update 3 July 2018: I saw the Hamel show today and was pleasantly surprised. Despite some moderately lurid advertising, this is a sober presentation. It offers a brief outline of World War I, a summary of General Monash’s plans, and

Click here for all items related to:

Shaw, Ian W.: Murder at Dusk: How US Soldier and Smiling Psychopath Eddie Leonski Terrorised Wartime Melbourne

Ian W. Shaw Murder at Dusk: How US Soldier and Smiling Psychopath Eddie Leonski Terrorised Wartime Melbourne, Hachette, Sydney, 2018 May 1942: Melbourne was torn between fearing Japanese invasion and revelling in the carnival atmosphere brought by the influx of

Click here for all items related to: ,

Abbott, Derek: Brownout brutality in wartime Melbourne 1942

Derek Abbott* ‘Brownout brutality in wartime Melbourne 1942’, Honest History, 26 June 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Murder at Dusk: How US Soldier and Smiling Psychopath Eddie Leonski Terrorised Wartime Melbourne by Ian W. Shaw  Ian Shaw has produced a comprehensive

Click here for all items related to: ,

Winter mind food in Canberra: three events for the diary

The Australian Historical Association’s annual conference is on in Canberra early in July and there are some sessions 3-6 July open to the public, including ones about the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Trove, animals, forests, the anthropocene, objects, migration, and

Broinowski, Alison: Australia, 2018: Lies, cover-ups and suppression of free speech

Alison Broinowski ‘Australia, 2018: Lies, cover-ups and suppression of free speech‘, Independent Australia, 20 June 2018 Honest History’s vice president summarises the current state and recent history of freedom in the wide brown land whose young men died in the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: ‘Same old, same old’ and asking the big questions: two contrasting approaches to war and the future

David Stephens ‘”Same old, same old” and asking the big questions: two contrasting approaches to war and the future’, Honest History, 20 June 2018 Armistice Centenary Grants Program Sometimes serendipity plays into the hands of bloggers. Such is the case

Click here for all items related to:

Ryan, Lyndall: The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury

Lyndall Ryan* ‘The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 19 June 2018 Lyndall Ryan reviews The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817 by Stephen Gapps  It seems extraordinary that, after 230 years,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Gapps, Stephen: The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817

Stephen Gapps The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 The Sydney Wars tells the history of military engagements between Europeans and Aboriginal Australians – described as “this constant sort of war” by one early colonist –

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 51, 12 June 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 Honest History’s submission to the parliamentary inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions – and the latest on the War Memorial’s proposed $500m extension New book reviews at honesthistory.net.au Mark McKenna reviews Griffith Review 60 First Things First Meredith Lake’s

Buchan, Bruce: Cooking the books

Bruce Buchan ‘Cooking the books’, Inside Story, 14 June 2018 Looks at a British Library exhibition on Cook and contrasts it with recent Australian announcements about celebrating the 250th anniversary of Cook’s 1770 voyage. Buchan draws this conclusion. Not long

Click here for all items related to: ,

Chris Uhlmann: Manning Clark Lecture, Canberra, 12 July: Secret City: fact, fiction and Australian politics

Channel 9’s Chris Uhlmann will deliver the 19th Manning Clark Lecture at the ANU, Canberra, on 12 July at 7 pm. The title of the lecture is ‘Secret City: fact, fiction and Australian politics’. Details and booking arrangements. 16 June

Schultz, Julianne & Sandra Phillips, ed.: Griffith Review 60: First Things First

Julianne Schultz & Sandra Phillips, ed. Griffith Review 60: First Things First, April 2018 After more than two hundred years of largely unresolved disputes, Australia needs to hear the voices of Australia’s First Nations – and act on them. First

Click here for all items related to: ,

Lake, Meredith: The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History

Meredith Lake The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 In this surprising and revelatory history of the Bible in Australia, Meredith Lake gets under the skin of a text that’s been read, wrestled with, preached and tattooed,

Click here for all items related to: ,

Hastings, David: Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac

David Hastings Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018; New Zealand edition published by Auckland University Press In 1928 the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia produced 10,000 copies of a poster asking for help

Click here for all items related to: ,

McKenna, Mark: First Things First and finding a way through

Mark McKenna* ‘First Things First and finding a way through’, Honest History, 12 June 2018 Mark McKenna reviews Griffith Review 60: First Things First As editor Julianne Schultz explains in her introduction, ‘First Things First’ – a title suggested by

Click here for all items related to: ,

Spark, Seumas: A victim of the war

Seumas Spark* ‘A victim of the war’, Honest History, 12 June 2018 Seumas Spark reviews David Hastings, Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac Three things stand out about David Hastings’ book Odyssey of the Unknown Anzac. First, it is about a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Hynd, Douglas: The global, cultural and theological Bible: uncovering a history

Douglas Hynd* ‘The global, cultural and theological Bible: uncovering a history’, Honest History, 12 June 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History by Meredith Lake You might think a history of the Bible in Australian culture

Click here for all items related to: ,

Centenary Watch June-July 2018

Update 4 August 2018: War Memorial consultations on its proposed extensions: ‘Look on my Works’ The Memorial announces consultations; Honest History puts some questions. Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’, a pithy comment on the urge to leave a legacy in stone. Update 28

Click here for all items related to:

Piggin, Stuart & Robert D. Linder: The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914

Stuart Piggin & Robert D. Linder The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 The official religion brought to Australia with the First Fleet was Evangelical Christianity, the “vital religion” then shaping

Click here for all items related to: ,

Hynd, Douglas: Evangelical Christians weaved a sturdy thread in our history

Douglas Hynd* ‘Evangelical Christians weaved a sturdy thread in our history’, Honest History, 4 June 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740-1914 by Stuart Piggin and Robert D. Linder The authors of

Click here for all items related to: ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (36): Schools and a Smoke Social in South Gippsland 1918

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (36): Schools and a Smoke Social in South Gippsland’, Honest History, 1 June 2018 This occasional series has often drawn upon the work of Phil Cashen of the Shire at War blog, about how the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

ANU not to hook up with Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation

Update 21 August 2018: Alexander Wells in Overland, including on the irrelevance of ‘Western civilisation’ to today’s issues. Update 5 July 2018: Frank Bongiorno talks to Phillip Adams on Late Night Live. Update 26 June 2018: Geoffrey Blainey and Simon

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Lambert, Michael: Review of Fair Share by Stephen Bell and Michael Keating: Part I; Part II

Michael Lambert ‘Review of Fair Share by Stephen Bell and Michael Keating; Part I; Part II‘, Pearls and Irritations, 28-29 May 2018 The coverage of topics [in the Bell-Keating book] is extensive. While its overall theme is exploring the mitigation

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Burden, Gemmia: The violent collectors who gathered Indigenous artefacts for the Queensland Museum

Gemmia Burden ‘The violent collectors who gathered Indigenous artefacts for the Queensland Museum‘, The Conversation, 28 May 2018 Detailed examination of the links between frontier violence and museum collecting. While there is no evidence of the museum being directly involved

Click here for all items related to: ,

Honest History President Frank Bongiorno talks to Richard Denniss about commemoration, memory and donations to the War Memorial

Honest History President, Professor Frank Bongiorno of the ANU, talks to Richard Denniss, economist from The Australia Institute. Their chat (from mark 14.00) covers national days, the commemoration of blood sacrifice, how corporate donors to the War Memorial are possibly

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: War Memorial fundraising probe should come up with donations code of practice

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial fundraising probe should come up with donations code of practice’, Honest History, 29 May 2018 updated Update 10 June 2018: Toni Hassan in Fairfax with quotes from Director Nelson and Honest History spokesperson. Update 31 May

Click here for all items related to: ,

Review note: Eleanor’s Secret is an easy read but draws on specialist knowledge

‘Review note: Eleanor’s Secret is an easy read but draws on specialist knowledge’, Honest History, 27 May 2018 Gentle Reader* reviews another wartime novel by Caroline Beecham I described Caroline Beecham’s Maggie’s Kitchen (2016) as ‘technically fiction’ but with plenty

Click here for all items related to: ,

Bean not yet counted out? War Memorial Director Nelson (and friends) in the redistribution trenches

Update 4 July 2018: Bean gets up. Update 5 June 2018: Fairfax report on the hearing of the augmented Electoral Commission, which heard vigorous arguments for both Nott and Bean. Honest History has previously noted the electoral redistribution for the

Troughton, Geoffrey & Philip Fountain, ed.: Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand

Geoffrey Troughton & Philip Fountain, ed. Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2018 This is a book about how New Zealanders have been inspired by visions for peace. Focusing on

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Hynd, Douglas: Is peace as interesting as war?

Douglas Hynd* ‘Is peace as interesting as war?’ Honest History, 23 May 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain Towards the conclusion of Judith

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Whyte, Sally: War Memorial should ditch weapons manufacturers: Anti war organisation

Sally Whyte ‘War Memorial should ditch weapons manufacturers: Anti war organisation‘, Canberra Times, 21 May 2018 updated Interview with Sue Wareham of Medical Association for Prevention of War (and one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters). Wareham discusses MAPW’s submission to

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Tseen Khoo: What Anzac Day meant for Asian Australians

Tseen Khoo ‘What Anzac Day meant for Asian Australians‘, Eureka Street, 7 May 2018 Anzac Day ‘can signal and embrace former war-time foes [notably Turks] as contemporary allies’ but it can also be a day ‘that mobilises the easily ignited

Click here for all items related to: ,

Taffe, Sue: A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice

Sue Taffe A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 Mary Montgomerie Bennett (1881–1961) is an important but under-recognised figure in Australian history. A member of a successful squatting

Click here for all items related to: ,

Burton, Pamela: A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice

Pamela Burton* ‘This white hot flame burned bright’, Honest History, 19 May 2018 Pamela Burton reviews A White Hot Flame: Mary Montgomerie Bennett – Author, Educator, Activist for Indigenous Justice by Sue Taffe This well-researched biography of Mary Montgomerie Bennett

Click here for all items related to: ,

Mitchell, Adrian: Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration

Adrian Mitchell Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 For just over 100 years an institution for the mentally ill has stood on little Peat Island, in the lower Hawkesbury. It was decommissioned in 2010; quite empty now,

Click here for all items related to: ,

Myrtle, John: Removing the cloak of mystery from an island in the Hawkesbury

John Myrtle* ‘Removing the cloak of mystery from an island in the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 18 May 2018 Adrian Mitchell’s Peat Island: Dreaming and Desecration is reviewed by John Myrtle Anyone travelling by road or rail north from Sydney to

Click here for all items related to: ,

Reynolds, Henry: The fighting retreat of the Anglo-Australians

Henry Reynolds ‘The fighting retreat of the Anglo-Australians‘, Pearls and Irritations, 16 May 2018 Anglo-Australian atavism is at the root of the recent moves for an upgraded Captain Cook Memorial and related stuff, the defence of Australia Day, and the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Whitaker, Robyn J.: How the Bible helped shape Australian culture

Robyn J. Whitaker ‘How the Bible helped shape Australian culture‘, The Conversation, 15 May 2018 Discusses Meredith Lake’s new book, The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History. Time and time again, Lake traces the multiplicity of biblical interpretations and applications to

Click here for all items related to: ,

Daley, Paul: The National Picture: overwhelming reminder of wilful gaps in Australia’s history

Paul Daley ‘The National Picture: overwhelming reminder of wilful gaps in Australia’s history‘, Guardian Australia, 14 May 2018 Review of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ‘The National Picture: the art of Tasmania’s Black War’. The

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Two war poems, one from a disabled veteran, the other from a former diplomat

We don’t often do poetry on Honest History but these two poems deserve a run. The first is from Frank Jock O’Neill, of Disabled Veterans of Australia Network. (Press article about the Network and its mission to reduce suicide rates

Click here for all items related to:

Honest History Treasurer Michael Piggott has new post with Deakin University, working at the National Library

Honest History Treasurer, Michael Piggott AM, has joined a Deakin University Contemporary Histories Research Group Australian Research Council team as Senior Research Fellow. Michael will be based at the National Library for a year, developing and applying a methodology to

Honest History’s submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions – and the proposed $500m extension to the Australian War Memorial

Note: This post has grown since it began and now covers two closely related matters: the Honest History submission to the parliamentary inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions; the proposed $500m extension of the Australian War Memorial – an underground project

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Budget summary: Anzac centenary winds down, War Memorial digitisation gets thumbs up, Captain Cook rewarmed, non-MSM comments

Honest History has done some work on past Budgets, tracking the Commonwealth spend on Anzac centenary commemoration (which had reached $342 million spent by June last year, plus another $260 million or so by the States and Territories and corporate

Click here for all items related to:

Reynolds, Henry: Australia’s perpetual ‘war footing’

Henry Reynolds ‘Australia’s perpetual “war footing”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 May 2018 Riffs off a belligerent interview in 2013 by then Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston. [Johnston] clearly took it for granted that there was a need for Australian military

Click here for all items related to: ,

McGibbon, Ian: William Malone and the entrenched myth of insubordination at Gallipoli

Ian McGibbon ‘William Malone and the entrenched myth of insubordination at Gallipoli‘, Stuff, 22 April 2018 A distinguished New Zealand military historian unpicks a myth that Kiwi officer, William Malone, disobeyed orders from a British superior at Gallipoli, specifically at

Click here for all items related to: ,

80 years on since Pig Iron Bob: new documentary has contemporary relevance

November this year marks 80 years since the Dalfram dispute, wherein then federal minister, soon to be PM, Robert Menzies, earned the nick-name ‘Pig Iron Bob’ for what seemed his excessive eagerness to sell to Japan material which had a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Some schadenfreude about Picardy (une joie malicieuse à propos de Picardie)

We thought this little story deserved a multilingual headline. Close followers of the Anzac season will have caught up with the despatches about the error-ridden Villers-Bretonneux piece in some Fairfax papers by veteran ‘storian Jonathan King. The article has now

Click here for all items related to: ,

Nine alternative views for Anzac Day – including Lisa Barritt-Eyles on how Lake Macquarie tackled the Frontier Wars

Rather than keep up with the flood of formulaic Anzac Day stories, we collected these few, some of them from our associates, all of them, to varying degrees, coming at ‘the One Day of the Year’ from different angles. (There

Click here for all items related to: ,

Broinowski, Alison: Anzackery and the preening peloton

Alison Broinowski ‘Anzackery and the preening peloton‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 April 2018 Honest History vice president weaves together Australian Defence Force duchessing of politicians, MSM Anzac cliches, critiques of Anzackery, culminating in praise for Richard Flanagan’s recent NPC speech.

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Brooker, Ben: 100 years of Anzac: ludicrous spending for nationalist validation

Ben Brooker ‘100 years of Anzac: ludicrous spending for nationalist validation‘, Overland, 24 April 2018 updated Sets the Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux against the broader context of commemorative spending, quoting Honest History estimates. Sharp points on opportunity cost and musing

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Hamilton, Andrew: Remembering shared humanity on Anzac Day

Andrew Hamilton ‘Remembering shared humanity on Anzac Day’, Eureka Street, 22 April 2018 [Politicians have] spent heavily on facilities for remembering the war, focused on the site of the battle rather than on the hometowns of those who grieve, and

Click here for all items related to: , ,

May, Catriona: War and trauma: learning the lessons

Catriona May ‘War and trauma: learning the lessons‘, Pursuit (University of Melbourne), 19 April 2018 An apposite post for the Anzac season, the article examines developments in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in armed forces, from diagnosis of ‘shell-shock’

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Morrissey, Doug: The Irishness of Ned Kelly: romance and reality

Doug Morrissey* ‘The Irishness of Ned Kelly: romance and reality’, Honest History, 23 April 2018 Fenian martyr or common criminal? Ned Kelly is a celebrity in both the Australian and Irish republican canons of heroes. In Ireland, he is honoured

Click here for all items related to: , ,

War Memorial commissions film that shows Turkish side of Gallipoli, then and now

A film by Turkish film-maker, Koken Ergun, is showing in Sydney till 12 May. The film, Heroes, was made with $25 000 and ‘free rein’ from the Australian War Memorial, is now owned by the Memorial and will be shown

Click here for all items related to:

Battlefields of the Raj tour with Professor Peter Stanley

As followers of his work will know, Honest History’s Past President, Professor Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra, is an authority on, among other things, the military history of British India. Later in 2018 he is leading a UNSW Canberra Study

Lismore does Anzac Day differently

News about the now well established, but rather different, Anzac Day events in Lismore in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales. Speakers include Honest History Vice President, Alison Broinowski. Details and contact information. There’ll also be some promotions

Heiss, Anita, ed.: Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia

Anita Heiss, ed. Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018 What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, showcases many diverse voices, experiences and stories in order to

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: This book about growing up Aboriginal in Australia is not just one for whitefellers of a certain age

David Stephens ‘This book about growing up Aboriginal in Australia is not just one for whitefellers of a certain age’, Honest History, 20 April 2018 David Stephens reviews Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, edited by Anita Heiss It makes a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Keating, Michael: Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base

Michael Keating ‘Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 April 2018 Former senior public servant stresses the importance of boosting the revenue base through taxation. Fundamentally the reason for taxation is to pay for the services

Click here for all items related to: ,

Flanagan, Richard: ‘Our politics is a dreadful black comedy’ – press club speech in full

Richard Flanagan ‘”Our politics is a dreadful black comedy” – press club speech in full’, Guardian Australia, 19 April 2018 Man Booker Prize winner considers the possibilities for authoritarian politics around the world, before moving on to look at whether

Click here for all items related to: ,

General Campbell becomes Chief of the Defence Force; General Burr and Admiral Noonan to join Council of Australian War Memorial

The Prime Minister has announced that Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will become Chief of the Defence Force from July, replacing Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin. Major General Rick Burr is to become Chief of Army, replacing Lieutenant General Campbell. Rear

Frontier War Story Camp; Peter Greste on Monash; le footy and le cricket feature in Monashfest in Picardy

These things are happening during Anzac season 2018: Frontier Wars Story Camp and Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars March, Canberra, 19-25 April; former ABC journalist, Peter Greste, has a two part doco on Sir John Monash (and his connections

Honest History E-newsletter No. 50, 10 April 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 New at honesthistory.net.au Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today, writes

Stanley, Peter, ed.: Victory on Gallipoli and Other What-ifs of Australian History

Peter Stanley, ed. Victory on Gallipoli and Other What-ifs of Australian History, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2018 With a twist of fate – and of historical fact – Gallipoli was a military success, Australia had a female prime minister

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Abbott, Derek: If only we had more what-ifs: a book of counterfactuals

Derek Abbott* ‘If only we had more what-ifs: a book of counterfactuals’, Honest History, 16 April 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Victory on Gallipoli and Other What-ifs of Australian History, edited by Peter Stanley Jack Lang prepares to cut the ribbon

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Three upcoming events in different parts of the world: Albany, Canberra and Reims

Albany Albany WA is the setting for something called ‘Convoy Campout’ on 24-25 April. It promises camping out under the stars, a range of Anzac-themed events and, from the money raised, a ‘contribution’ to the War Widows Guild. We are

Changing the guard at Veterans’ Affairs: Liz Cosson is new Secretary as Simon Lewis retires

Simon Lewis PSM is to retire on 18 May as Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Thanking Mr Lewis for his work, Prime Minister Turnbull referred particularly to his management of the Anzac centenary over the last four years.

Click here for all items related to:

Winton, Tim: About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny [with some related stuff]

Tim Winton ‘About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny‘ [with some related stuff], Guardian Australia, 9 April 2018 updated An extract from the novelist’s speech about his new book The Shepherd’s Hut. (The

Click here for all items related to: ,

Reynolds, Henry: Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?

Henry Reynolds ‘Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2018 Historian of invader-Indigenous relations in Australia considers the proposed extension to the Australian War Memorial and the Memorial’s inadequate recognition

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Stephens, David: Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today

David Stephens ‘Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 updated Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 2017 (Guardian Australia/ABC) Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a young Somali-Australian Muslim woman, was

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Waller, Mike: The real problem with our banks – “it’s leverage, stupid”

Mike Waller ‘The real problem with our banks – “it’s leverage, stupid”‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2018 Former Australian Public Service senior official and BHP economist writes about banking issues. We are more than a decade on from the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stanley, Peter: Not Gallipoli: a visit to Dybbøl, a Danish site of memory

Peter Stanley* ‘Not Gallipoli: a visit to Dybbøl, a Danish site of memory’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 What does a visit to Dybbøl tell Australians? It offers a reminder that battlefield commemoration need not be strident, garish or sentimental,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

McKenna, Mark: Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future

Mark McKenna Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens and politicians can come to new terms with

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Griffiths, Billy: Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia

Billy Griffiths Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available Soon after Billy Griffiths joins his first archaeological dig as camp manager and cook, he is hooked. Equipped with a historian’s inquiring mind, he embarks

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Highlights reel: historian Mark McKenna writes in 1997 on ‘black armband history’

‘Highlights reel: historian Mark McKenna writes in 1997 on “black armband history” ‘, Honest History, 10 April 2018 Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future (2018) considers related issues. HH *** Historiography, like history itself,

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Piggott, Michael: Time for something from the heart, from and for all of us: Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69

Michael Piggott* ‘Time for something from the heart, from and for all of us: Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 Michael Piggott reviews Mark McKenna’s Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future Sixteen

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Goreng Goreng, Tjanara: This book about Australian archaelogy and archaelogists is a gift to all of us

Tjanara Goreng Goreng* ‘This book about Australian archaelogy and archaelogists is a gift to all of us’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 Tjanara Goreng Goreng reviews Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia, by Billy Griffiths  This book reaches into the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Centenary Watch April-May 2018

Update 11 May 2018: Budget summary, including Anzac centenary winds down, War Memorial digitisation gets thumbs up A brief round-up, also including a look at Captain Cook in memoriam, plus non-MSM takes on the Budget. With some relevant cross-references. Update

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions

David Stephens* ‘Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions’, Honest History, 9 April 2018 updated Update 11 May 2018: Honest History’s submission to the JSCNET Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions The Director

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Daley, Paul: A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money

Paul Daley ‘A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money‘, Guardian Australia, 9 April 2018 Picks up the issue also canvassed by David Stephens of Honest History. Having spent more than half a billion dollars

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Daley, Paul: Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?

Paul Daley ‘Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?‘ Guardian Australia, 4 April 2018 There is an awakening among constitutional progressives that perhaps the Australian republic ought not be so divorced from the cry out of Uluru last

Click here for all items related to: ,

Gainsborough, Vance: Review note: Meanjin Autumn 2018: ‘the moral consequences of the things we do’

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Review note: Meanjin Autumn 2018: “the moral consequences of the things we do”‘, Honest History, 5 April 2018 Like all issues of this venerable but feisty publication, Meanjin Autumn 2018 has a lot of meaty content, so this

Click here for all items related to: , ,

What’s On: a war history conference in Canberra

  Canberra The Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at UNSW Canberra is running a symposium on 8 May on the topic ‘Why Australia went to the Great War’. Presenters are Greg Lockhart, John Mordike, Douglas

Mills, Stephen: Dick Casey’s Forgotten People

Stephen Mills ‘Dick Casey’s Forgotten People‘, Inside Story, 25 February 2018 updated We missed this piece when it first came round but it is worth drawing attention to for its careful study of a notable piece of election year propaganda,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Peter Stanley: Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide

Peter Stanley ‘Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide’, Honest History, 4 April 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Robert Kearney and Sharon Cleary, Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War The centenary

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Kearney, Robert & Sharon Cleary: Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War

Robert Kearney & Sharon Cleary Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 Close to 35,000 South Australians enlisted for service overseas during the Great War. Around 5500 never came back. Countless more returned with

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Shield, John: Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land

John Shield[1] ‘Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land’, Honest History, 30 March 2018 This is the second of John Shield’s articles exploring the Text Classics list. The

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Want to buy (or sell) some ‘Made in Australia’ military kit?

Following recent announcements about an increased Australian arms export drive, there has come to light online this interesting resource: the Australian Military Sales Catalogue 2018, Edition 2, published by the Australian Military Sales Office. This glossy document now includes ‘a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Jones, Benjamin T.: This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future

Benjamin T. Jones This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; e-book available In This Time, Benjamin T. Jones charts a path to an independent future. He reveals the fascinating early history of the Australian republican movement of

Click here for all items related to: ,

Warhurst, John: Republican past – and invigorating present and future

John Warhurst ‘Republican past – and invigorating present and future’, Honest History, 23 March 2018 This Time: Australia’s Republican Past and Future by Benjamin T. Jones is reviewed by John Warhurst Ben Jones represents the next generation of Australian republicans

Click here for all items related to: ,

12 months of The Honest History Book: pleasing sales figures reported

Around 12 months ago, The Honest History Book became available in shops and online. We can report that the book, as of today, has sold 2060 copies, including 1880 hard copies, and is still selling. We reckon this shows there

Blowing the whistle on Australia as gunrunner: two pertinent non-MSM pieces

Prime Minister Turnbull recently announced a $3.8 billion defence export plan. ‘Gunrunners’ is Defence Force slang for makers and purveyors of arms and related equipment. Perhaps the government has earned that epithet as well. Overall, Australia plans to spend some

Click here for all items related to: ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on’, Honest History, 16 March 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series The second conscription referendum in December 1917 may have looked like the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Napier Waller Art Prize a good War Memorial initiative targeted at Defence personnel and veterans – but paid for by an arms manufacturer

The Australian War Memorial has launched the ­Napier Waller Art Prize, the first national art prize offered ­exclusively to Defence personnel. (Memorial information on the prize. Fairfax story. Murdoch story.) The prize is open to all current and former Defence

Bowern, Claire: The origins of Pama-Nyungan, Australia’s largest family of Aboriginal languages

Claire Bowern ‘The origins of Pama-Nyungan, Australia’s largest family of Aboriginal languages‘, The Conversation, 13 March 2018 The approximately 400 languages of Aboriginal Australia can be grouped into 27 different families. To put that diversity in context, Europe has just four

Click here for all items related to: ,

73 years this week since the most destructive bombing raid in history: Tokyo 9-10 March 1945

Everyone knows about Hiroshima and Nagasaki – two cities where tens of thousands of people were killed by a single bomb – but there is much less awareness about what happened in Tokyo on the night of 9-10 March 1945.

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: To put North Korea 2018 in context, read Australian Michael Pembroke on the Korean War: review note

David Stephens ‘To put North Korea 2018 in context, read Australian Michael Pembroke on the Korean War: review note’, Honest History, 6 March 2018 updated New South Wales Supreme Court judge, Michael Pembroke, born 1955, has written a brilliant book,

Click here for all items related to:

Twomey, Christina: The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia

Christina Twomey The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 This landmark and compelling book follows the stories of 15,000 Australian prisoners of war from the moment they were released by the Japanese at the end of World

Click here for all items related to: ,

Myrtle, John: Ambivalent return: how Australia treated former prisoners of war after 1945

John Myrtle* ‘Ambivalent return: how Australia treated former prisoners of war after 1945’, Honest History, 6 March 2018 John Myrtle reviews The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia, by Christina Twomey Christina Twomey, Professor of History at Monash University, is

Click here for all items related to: ,

Robison, Richard: Why the Coalition, conservatives and big business are terrified by Emma Alberici

Richard Robison ‘Why the Coalition, conservatives and big business are terrified by Emma Alberici‘, Independent Australia, 2 March 2018 update A further contribution to the debate on ABC economics correspondent Emma Alberici’s analysis of Australia’s corporate tax system. (Our post

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Khaki reshuffle follows Joycean kerfuffle: Chester becomes Veterans’ Affairs Minister

One Nat minister jumped right over another Nat minister’s back … * Victorian MP Darren Chester is to become Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in a small reshuffle announced this evening. In Guardian Australia, another report says Mr Chester will also

Click here for all items related to:

Australian War Memorial Fellow Dr Chau Chak Wing has cameo role in Clive Hamilton book on Chinese influence in Australia

Update 26 May 2018: David Wroe and Sally White in Fairfax with some reaction from the Memorial’s Dr Nelson, who says the Memorial will not be giving Dr Chau’s money back. Update 25 May 2018: Sally Whyte in Fairfax goes

Click here for all items related to: ,

Taflaga, Marija: The end of the era of mass politics?

Marija Taflaga ‘The end of the era of mass politics?‘, Inside Story, 26 February 2018 Historical look at the trajectory of the major parties in Australia. Healthy or not, our parties are here to stay. The combination of the preferential

Click here for all items related to: ,

Schultz, Julianne & Jane Camens, ed.: Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now

Julianne Schultz & Jane Camens, ed. Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now, January 2018 At the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April athletes from countries that were once a part of the British Empire will battle for gold –

Click here for all items related to: ,

Abbott, Derek: Griffith Review 59: a timely survey of ‘Commonwealth Now’

Derek Abbott* ‘Griffith Review 59: a timely survey of “Commonwealth Now”’, Honest History, 28 February 2018 Derek Abbott reviews Griffith Review 59: Commonwealth Now, edited by Julianne Schultz and Jane Camens Given the current and continuing debates in this country

Click here for all items related to: ,

Reynolds, Henry: A hundred years of mateship?

Henry Reynolds ‘A hundred years of mateship?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 27 February 2018 updated A passionate piece from veteran historian Henry Reynolds. I was astonished! An SBS news report about the Turnbull visit to Washington declared that the two countries

Click here for all items related to: ,

New Deputy PM’s workload raises questions about treatment of Veterans’ Affairs, Centenary of Anzac and Defence Personnel: new Ministry list

Update 5 March 2018: new Ministry List released. Update 1 March 2018: Sorted. McCormack’s former jobs (and the ticket for Villers-Bretonneux in April) passed to Chester. Update 28 February 2018: Reports (for example, this one) circulating of a reshuffle of

Click here for all items related to: ,

Australians’ perceptions of historic events vary subtly across the country

A recent survey of Australians’ perceptions of important historic events shows some variation across states and territories. There are also some differences across gender and age. The survey was conducted in November last year by the Social Research Centre and

Click here for all items related to:

Moses, John: The contingency factor in national historiography: Germany and Australia

John Moses* ‘The contingency factor in national historiography: Germany and Australia’, Honest History, 25 February 2018 ABSTRACT This paper observes that what historians choose to write about is determined by the circumstances of their time and place. The paper does

Click here for all items related to: ,

Abjorensen, Norman: Keeping the country in the coalition

Norman Abjorensen ‘Keeping the country in the coalition‘, Inside Story, 23 February 2018 Useful background to the current upheavals within and beyond the National Party. Regardless of how this latest conflict plays out, it is just another chapter in a

Click here for all items related to:

If Michael McCormack becomes Leader of the Nationals, there’ll be an opportunity to abolish Veterans’ Affairs

Update 26 February 2018: how it turned out. Michael McCormack: the last of the line? (Queensland Times) After a glitch a few days ago, Michael McCormack MP seems to be favourite to become Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime

Click here for all items related to:

Clarke, Patricia: Political journalist Joe Alexander: establishing Canberra’s heritage — Parliament, diplomacy and life in suburbia

Patricia Clarke* ‘Political journalist Joe Alexander: establishing Canberra’s heritage — Parliament, diplomacy and life in suburbia‘, Honest History, 23 February 2018 Originally a lecture to the ACT Heritage Symposium in August 2017. An exploration of the career of a significant

Click here for all items related to: ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war’, Honest History, 21 February 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen’s assiduous research for his Shire at War blog has

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Bombing of Darwin 76 years on: Territory tourism to have even stronger khaki tinge (but focus is still too narrow)

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs pro tem* Michael McCormack reminds us that today marks the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. Around 400 people were killed in Darwin and in later raids on other northern towns. SS

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: How does the tax-paying record of large Australian companies square with our much-vaunted Australian egalitarian ethos?

David Stephens ‘How does the tax-paying record of large Australian companies square with our much-vaunted Australian egalitarian ethos?’ Honest History, 18 February 2018 updated The ABC’s chief economics correspondent, Emma Alberici, this week put out some articles on the tax

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Brock, Peggy & Tom Gara, ed.: Colonialism and its Aftermath: A History of Aboriginal South Australia

Peggy Brock & Tom Gara, ed. Colonialism and its Aftermath: A History of Aboriginal South Australia, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2017 The colonial process in South Australia began decades before formal annexation with unregulated interactions between coastal Aboriginal people and European

Click here for all items related to:

Gerritsen, Rolf: A seminal contribution to South Australian and Australian history

Rolf Gerritsen* ‘A seminal contribution to South Australian and Australian history’, Honest History, 16 February 2018 Rolf Gerritsen reviews Peggy Brock and Tom Gara, ed., Colonialism and its Aftermath: A History of Aboriginal South Australia Aboriginal history has gone through

Click here for all items related to:

Latimore, Jack: The stolen generations apology anniversary should stand as a day of shame

Jack Latimore ‘The stolen generations apology anniversary should stand as a day of shame‘, Guardian Australia, 13 February 2018 The difficulty and reluctance in recognising the way this intergenerational trauma impacts upon the lives of First Nations people says a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Broinowski, Alison: The trust deficit in Canberra

Alison Broinowski ‘The trust deficit in Canberra‘, Pearls and Irritations, 13 February 2018 Looks at the implications of the appointment of Admiral Harry B. Harris as United States Ambassador to Australia. The Prime Minister has said we are joined at

Click here for all items related to: ,

Menadue, John: We are in denial about the risks in our relationship with the United States. Part 1 of 2

John Menadue ‘We are in denial about the risks in our relationship with the United States. Part 1 of 2′, Pearls and Irritations, 8 February 2018 updated We are a nation in denial that we are “joined at the hip”

Click here for all items related to: ,

Broinowski, Alison: Is militarism in Australia’s DNA?

Alison Broinowski ‘Is militarism in Australia’s DNA?’ Pearls and Irritations, 6 February 2018 updated Australians who don’t live in other countries don’t realise how our self-image differs from the perception, particularly in Asia, that we were militarists from the start.

Click here for all items related to: ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 49, 30 January 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 © New on the Honest History site Honest History in 2018 – and possibly beyond: a prospectus from HH HQ The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, The Settlers and the Protectors: Ben Wilkie reviews Bain Attwood’s new book

Victorian government survey on Anzac Day recognition of Frontier Wars provokes predictable pile-on

In August last year, the Victorian government did some research on ‘the social value of war commemorative events’. Among many other questions, the research (using a sample of about 500 people) asked whether the deaths of Indigenous Australians in the

Click here for all items related to:

Daley, Paul: Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised

Paul Daley ‘Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised‘, Guardian Australia, 1 February 2018 Pulls together the themes of Anzackery, arms manufacturers inflicting advertising on Canberra airport users, and the same manufacturers donating to the Australian War Memorial

Click here for all items related to: , , , ,

Honest History in 2018 – and possibly beyond

Honest History in 2018 – and possibly beyond The Honest History website (and the Honest History association) began in mid-2013. Since then we have placed on the website nearly 2800 posts and another 70 pages (including two editions of Honest

Attwood, Bain: The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, The Settlers and the Protectors

Bain Attwood The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, the Settlers and the Protectors, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2017 A local history of the Djadja Wurrung people of Central Victoria, looking at the relationship between the people of this Aboriginal nation,

Click here for all items related to: ,

Shield, John: All the Green Year: Don Charlwood between war and depression

John Shield* ‘All the Green Year: Don Charlwood between war and depression’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 When Honest History discovered the Australia Explained website and I turned to the books page thereon it gladdened my heart to see there

Click here for all items related to: , ,

National Museum’s Australian Journey looks like a useful resource for secondary and tertiary students

The National Museum of Australia has just unveiled a new resource for secondary and tertiary students. It is called Australian Journey: The Story of a Nation in 12 Objects and it can be found on the NMA website and on

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (33): The second conscription referendum viewed from Gippsland

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (33): The second conscription referendum viewed from Gippsland’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Once again, we find some very useful research on Phil Cashen’s Shire at War blog, based in

Click here for all items related to: ,

Wilkie, Ben: Complex stories of the Djadja Wurrung in Victoria’s Good Country

Ben Wilkie* ‘Complex stories of the Djadja Wurrung in Victoria’s Good Country’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 Ben Wilkie reviews Bain Attwood’s The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, the Settlers, and the Protectors. Bain Attwood’s most recent book appears, at

Click here for all items related to: ,

Centenary Watch February-March 2018

Update 29 March 2018: Commemorative dates for the rest of the year Minister Chester’s presser on important dates for the rest of the year, including the opening of the Monash Interpretive Centre on 24 April. ‘As the last year of

Click here for all items related to:

Awards for Australian historians, Janet McCalman AC and Marilyn Lake AO

Congratulations to Professor Janet McCalman, awarded AC in today’s list, and Professor Marilyn Lake, awarded AO. Both are at the University of Melbourne. Marilyn Lake was a member of Honest History’s original committee in 2013-14. 26 January 2018

Broinowski, Alison: Murky wars and missions unaccomplished

Alison Broinowski ‘Murky wars and missions unaccomplished‘, Pearls and Irritations, 25 January 2018 This [Syria] longest war in Australia’s history is the latest in the list of foreign conflicts in which we have joined Americans, supposedly fighting communists or terrorists,

Click here for all items related to: ,

Miller, Geoff: White Paper versus White’s paper: some questions about Australian policies

Geoff Miller ‘White Paper versus White’s paper: some questions about Australian policies‘, Pearls and Irritations, 23 January 2018 Former senior Australian diplomat compares the official government publication with the recent Quarterly Essay by Professor Hugh White. The former is essentially

Click here for all items related to: ,

New study to investigate culture of abuse and bullying in the Australian Defence Force

Academics James Connor (UNSW Canberra) and Ben Wadham (Flinders University) have a grant to investigate ‘the culture behind abuse and bullying in the Australian Defence Force’. The media release has more. Our research [said Dr Connor] will look at the

Click here for all items related to:

Repost of Humphrey McQueen 2017 on Australia Day – plus other material on this perennial but important set of issues

Update 8 February 2018: Paul Daley in Guardian Australia on what the confected fuss about flying the Indigenous flag on a large Sydney coathanger says about Australia 2018: It is regrettable that anything approaching public argument over such a fundamental

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Broinowski, Alison: Incorrigible Optimist review: Gareth Evans’ account of his public life

Alison Broinowski ‘Incorrigible Optimist review: Gareth Evans’ account of his public life‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 January 2018 This book was launched by Bob Hawke and has been widely reviewed. (See especially Norman Abjorensen in the Canberra Times and Jock

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, Jane: Review note: Stephen Foster: Zoffany’s Daughter: Love and Treachery on a Small Island

Jane Stephens* ‘Review note: Stephen Foster: Zoffany’s Daughter: Love and Treachery on a Small Island’, Honest History, 13 January 2018 This intriguing narrative, appropriately first published in the Channel Islands, is based on extensive research into an obscurely unsettling 19th

Click here for all items related to:

Three angles on security – including a bit of quis custodiet ipsos custodes

‘Three angles on security – including a bit of “quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”‘, Honest History, 10 January 2018 The Latin tag, for those who don’t know it, means roughly ‘who will guard the guards themselves?’ and it was coined by

Click here for all items related to: ,

Grishin, Sasha: Arthur Streeton: The art of war at the National Gallery of Australia combines beauty and barbarity

Sasha Grishin ‘Arthur Streeton: The art of war at the National Gallery of Australia combines beauty and barbarity’, Canberra Times, 10 January 2018 Review of an exhibition at the National Gallery, Canberra, until 29 April, just after Anzac Day. Reminds

Click here for all items related to: , ,

The World Inequality Report 2018: latest word on an Honest History ‘special subject’

For the last three years, Honest History has tracked media (mainstream and not) articles and research-based reports on inequality, its multiple causes and manifestations. The Honest History Book also focused sharply on inequality, given what seemed to us to be

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Bongiorno, Frank: An Iced Vovo and a broken heart

Frank Bongiorno ‘An Iced Vovo and a broken heart‘, Inside Story, 5 January 2018 Honest History president and ANU professor, Frank Bongiorno, reviews volume I of former PM Kevin Rudd’s autobiography. The two Rudd prime ministerships were probably not the

Click here for all items related to:

Cabinet papers from 1994-95 opened, including commentary by Honest History’s Frank Bongiorno

Every year about this time another pile of Cabinet papers is made public under the 25 year rule. This year’s tranche covers 1994-95 and there is good coverage in The Conversation, including an article by Honest History president and ANU

Click here for all items related to:

Dan Tehan promoted to Minister for Social Services; Michael McCormack is new man at Veterans’ Affairs-Centenary of Anzac

Minister Tehan (Twitter) The Honourable Dan Tehan, formerly Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, and for Cyber Security, has been promoted to the job of Minister for

Click here for all items related to:

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (32): Alfred Deakin in retirement supports conscription

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (32): Alfred Deakin in retirement supports conscription’, Honest History, 19 December 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Deakin in his prime (Wikipedia) By the end of 1917, former prime minister Alfred Deakin had been out

Click here for all items related to: , ,

UPDATE: Dr Nelson reappointed to Australian War Memorial Director’s position

Update 15 August 2019: After a further reappointment, Dr Nelson’s final term expired on 31 December 2019. Update 30 January 2018: Dr Nelson’s new term expires on 30 May 2019. Update 31 December 2017: outgoing Minister Tehan announced the reappointment

Click here for all items related to:

Going deep into international taxation: these issues have been around for a long time

Many readers (and viewers) will have been following the recent publicity about the large companies who avoid paying much tax – or, in some cases, any tax. Most recently, Labor frontbencher, Andrew Leigh, weighed in, and before him there were,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

What Honest History reviewed in 2017: might be some Christmas reading here

Honest History’s reviews are found here, with the latest at the top of the list. You can scroll down and find reviews of a wide range of books, of a generally historical bent, along with the occasional movie or television

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Armstrong, John: Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. April 2015 – April 2019

John Armstrong* ‘Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. April 2015–April 2019‘, New Zealand Journal of Public History 27, 2017, pp. 59-63 This (pdf) is a long review of the Museum of New Zealand

Click here for all items related to: , ,

New History Lab project gets under way at UTS and 2SER 107.3FM

Podcasts with a historical bent will be the output of a new project getting under way in Sydney. History Lab is Australia’s first investigative history podcast, hosted by historians Tamson Pietsch and Anna Clark The series is made in collaboration

Click here for all items related to:

Hyland, Tom: What have I become?

Tom Hyland ‘“What have I become?”‘ Inside Story, 14 December 2017 A review of – and a look at the politics behind – Chris Masters’ just published book No Front Line: Australian Special Forces at War in Afghanistan. Hyland notes

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Koch, Christoph, ed.: Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945-2015

Christoph Koch, ed. Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945–2015, Peter Lang, Bern, 2017 The book’s subtitle, ‘Rechtliche Bedeutung Und Historische Auswirkungen’, translates from the German as ‘Legal Meaning and Historical Impact’ and this is an accurate summary of the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Tampke, Jurgen: Potsdam Conference 70th anniversary conference papers help us to understand European history since World War II

Jurgen Tampke* ‘Potsdam Conference 70th anniversary conference papers help us to understand European history since World War II’, Honest History, [date] Jurgen Tampke reviews Christoph Koch, ed., Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945–2015  This book comprises eleven papers delivered

Click here for all items related to: ,

ANU opens negotiations with Ramsay Foundation for studies in Western Civilisation

The Australian National University, Canberra, has announced that it is ‘currently negotiating with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to develop a new program in Western Civilisation to add to the University’s suite of undergraduate programs that includes European studies,

Patience, Allan: Confecting a new China hysteria

Allan Patience ‘Confecting a new China hysteria‘, Pearls and Irritations, 12 December 2017 Australia’s diplomacy with its Asian neighbours and contenders has always been awkward. In a similar manner to Britain’s awkward partnering with Europe, so Australia is Asia’s awkward

Click here for all items related to: ,

Professor Tom Griffiths, Honest History distinguished supporter (and launcher of The Honest History Book), wins ACT Book of the Year 2017 for his book The Art of Time Travel

Congratulations to Professor Tom Griffiths AO of the Australian National University who has received the ACT Book of the Year Award for his book, The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft. The book had already received the Ernest

Bongiorno, Frank: A nursery of unconventional ideas – sex radicalism in Australia

Frank Bongiorno ‘A nursery of unconventional ideas – sex radicalism in Australia‘, The Conversation, 11 December 2017 Honest History’s president and ANU professor, Frank Bongiorno, presents a historical smorgasbord of sex pioneers from William Chidley to Benjamin Law, via Germaine

Click here for all items related to:

Molony, John: Captain James Cook: Claiming the Great South Land

John Molony Captain James Cook: Claiming the Great South Land, Connor Court, Brisbane, 2016 In a unique and compelling matching of Cook’s journal entries with the journals of others on the voyage, including Joseph Banks, Sydney Parkinson and James Matra,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Myrtle, John: Another look at Cook

John Myrtle ‘Another look at Cook’, Honest History, 12 December 2017  John Myrtle* reviews Captain James Cook: Claiming the Great South Land by John Molony In mid-2018 the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich near London will be launching Pacific Encounters,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

A Nobel achievement, partly Australian, unsung by the Australian government: the Nobel Peace Prize goes to ICAN

ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) has received its Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo. Margaret Beavis writes from the Medical Association for Prevention of War; Dr Beavis is an ICAN Board member. Also this from

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Review note: Great Convict Stories by Graham Seal

David Stephens ‘Review note: Great Convict Stories by Graham Seal’, Honest History, 11 December 2017 This book contains about 85 little chunks of history (two to four pages each, mostly), bound into ten bundles, with seven to eleven chunks per

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 48, 30 November 2017

ISSN: 2202-5561 © New and recently on the Honest History website: original material, book reviews, links, announcements Banking Royal Commissions: a look back at the 1935-37 model The second First Lady, the pretend colonel, and the dogs of Ottawa: some alternative

Kevin, Tony: President Putin opens the Wall of Sorrow Memorial in Moscow

Tony Kevin* ‘President Putin opens the Wall of Sorrow Memorial in Moscow’, Honest History, 8 December 2017 As part of Honest History’s continuing interest in the uses and abuses of history, we have previously noted President Vladimir Putin’s interest in

Click here for all items related to: ,

Long Tan Cross repatriation a good time to put Vietnam War in perspective

The Long Tan Cross has been repatriated to Australia, as reported on Defence Connect, by the Prime Minister and Minister Tehan, and in the media. There are plans for the cross to go on permanent display at the Australian War

Click here for all items related to: ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (31): Returned soldiers speak out against conscription

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (31): Returned soldiers speak out against conscription’, Honest History, 6 December 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series The newspaper, the Woman Voter, run by Vida Goldstein, Cecilia John and other radical women, was often a

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Broadcaster Genevieve Jacobs – a great friend of Honest History – reluctantly leaves ABC Canberra

Honest History notes with sadness the departure of presenter Genevieve Jacobs from the ABC’s Canberra bureau. Genevieve worked closely with Honest History to present a regular fortnightly ‘Honest History spot’ on ABC Canberra Local Radio 666. This spot ran for

A chance to help the National Library get even better: 15 minutes, not of fame, but to complete an essential survey

We have received this message from the National Library of Australia: The Library is seeking your feedback on the extent to which our digitised material and online collections meet your research or study needs. We would like to know the

Troughton, Geoffrey, ed.: Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945

Geoffrey Troughton, ed. Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2017 New Zealanders, while generally peaceable and tolerant people, have seldom shied away from war. Even in the current era, Anzac Day

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Hynd, Douglas: New Zealand Great War peacemaking history has Trans-Tasman relevance

Douglas Hynd* ‘New Zealand Great War peacemaking history has Trans-Tasman relevance’, Honest History, 5 December 2017 Douglas Hynd reviews Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945, edited by Geoffrey Troughton Contemporary critiques of Christianity, whether as

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Eureka 163rd anniversary: resources on the Honest History site

Yesterday, 3 December 2017, was the 163rd anniversary of the Eureka stockade skirmish, which marked the end of a brief uprising of goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria. At least 20 miners and six soldiers were killed. The Honest History site has

Click here for all items related to: ,

Ken Inglis 1929-2017

Ken Inglis, Australian historian, died in Melbourne last Friday afternoon, aged 88. Ken’s books on a wide range of topics are an outstanding legacy to the study of Australian history and to Australia. His work on commemoration and memory has

The Australian banking Royal Commission of 1935-37: a precedent unlikely to be followed

Update 27 February 2018: Nicholas Gruen in Pearls and Irritations dives deep into the issues. Update 3 December 2017: Greg Jericho in Guardian Australia looks closely at the terms of reference this time around. And so does Kevin Davis in

Click here for all items related to: ,

Newton, Douglas: First World War centenaries that really matter are looming

Douglas Newton ‘First World War Centenaries that really matter are looming‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 November 2017 Centenary moments of huge significance are upon us: the centenary of the so-called “Lansdowne Peace Letter” of 29 November 1917, and the centenary

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Stephens, David: The second First Lady, the pretend colonel, and the dogs of Ottawa: some alternative decision-making scenarios for heads of state

David Stephens* ‘The second First Lady, the pretend colonel, and the dogs of Ottawa: some alternative decision-making scenarios for heads of state’, Honest History, 30 November 2017 One thing often leads to another in the blogging business. A little while

Click here for all items related to: ,

Bolton, Geoffrey: The Gluckman Affair 1960: a bystander’s view

Geoffrey Bolton ‘The Gluckman Affair 1960: a bystander’s view‘, Labour History Canberra, 16 November 2017 Max Gluckman (makinganthropologypublic) John Myrtle, Honest History volunteer, author of our Online Gems, retired librarian and facilitator of this article’s republication explains its provenance: In

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Winkler, Heinrich August (trans. John A. Moses): And deliver us from the war guilt

[Note: This is a translation completed by Professor John A. Moses in November 2017 of a July 2014 review article in German by Professor Heinrich August Winkler on Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (Die

Click here for all items related to: ,

Cornering posterity: support for the Internet Archive, a way in to a breathtaking amount of information

Honest History has always been taken with the suggestion that postings to the Internet are the 21st century version of what used to be said of journalism – ‘the first draft of history’. But who makes sure all the good

Click here for all items related to:

Nobel Peace Prize win to be marked in Canberra

The Nobel Peace Prize win by the Australian-born International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) barely rated on Canberra’s Capital Hill. It clashed with the debut of a young Australian in (we think) American ice hockey. There is a function

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: The Australian War Memorial is still doing well out of arms manufacturers – how well, we don’t quite know

David Stephens* ‘The Australian War Memorial is still doing well out of arms manufacturers – how well, we don’t quite know’, Honest History, 30 November 2017 updated Update 13 September 2018: Senate Estimates information provides a partial update, showing $1.3

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Centenary Watch December 2017-January 2018

Update 10 January 2017: Arthur Streeton: The art of war at the National Gallery of Australia combines beauty and barbarity Sasha Grishin’s Canberra Times review of an unconventional war artist, Arthur Streeton, on show at the National Gallery till after

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: Faulty abacus? DVA and the cost of commemoration

David Stephens ‘Faulty abacus? DVA and the cost of commemoration’, Honest History, 30 November 2017 The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, working through the French government tourist bureau, Atout, recently squired a couple of Australian-based journalists around the battlefields of the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Farhart, Claudia: Give Peace a Chance

Claudia Farhart Give Peace a Chance, YouTube, 6 November 2017 A 50 minute documentary featuring interviews with Australian protesters against conscription and against the Vietnam War, interspersed with comments from academics and archival film. The interviews were collected by Larry

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Steady as she goes or wait and see? Some (mostly) non-Main Stream Media views of the Foreign Policy White Paper

The Foreign Policy White Paper would not have escaped most reasonably alert people’s notice, even as there began the cricketing equivalent of the Battle of Brisbane though, in that case, the Australians’ antagonists were Americans. (That battle was 75 years

Click here for all items related to: ,

Black Inc.: The Wisdom of Oz: Australian Aphorisms from the Profound to the Profane

Black Inc. The Wisdom of Oz: Australian Aphorisms from the Profound to the Profane, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2017 A little book about truth, in a world defined by insidious lies. The Wisdom of Oz presents the finest pearls of wisdom from

Click here for all items related to: ,

Laugesen, Amanda: Truths about the Australian character: aphorisms we have known and invented

‘Truths about the Australian character: aphorisms we have known and invented’, Honest History, 27 November 2017 Amanda Laugesen* reviews The Wisdom of Oz: Australian Aphorisms from the Profound to the Profane ‘Such is life.’ ‘Life wasn’t meant to be easy.’ ‘This is

Click here for all items related to: ,

Bongiorno, Frank: Historical constructions of knowledge: Pymble Ladies College address

Frank Bongiorno ‘Historical constructions of knowledge: Pymble Ladies College address, 12 September 2017‘ This address was delivered to History Extension students from Pymble and other schools. (Honest History representatives do these engagements frequently: contact admin@honesthistory.net.au to discuss possibilities.) All documents,

Click here for all items related to: ,

McCormack, Matthew: Historians and Twitter

Matthew McCormack ‘Historians and Twitter‘, Twitter/History at Northampton blog, 20 November 2017 This is a first for Honest History – turning a Tweet into a post – but it is done gladly because Matthew McCormack up there at the University

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Coleborne, Catharine: The concept of ‘western civilisation’ is past its use-by date in university humanities departments

Catharine Coleborne ‘The concept of “western civilisation” is past its use-by date in university humanities departments‘, The Conversation, 21 November 2017 Critiques moves driven by the new Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to revamp BA courses around the idea of ‘Western

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Collins, Alan, Bo Yang & Grant Cox: What’s Australia made of? Geologically, it depends on the state you’re in

Alan Collins, Bo Yang & Grant Cox ‘What’s Australia made of? Geologically, it depends on the state you’re in‘, The Conversation, 21 November 2017 Tracks back billions of years to show that the western part of Australia is older than

Click here for all items related to: ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (30): Officially sponsored 2017 view of the conscription battles of 1916-17

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (30): Officially sponsored 2017 view of the conscription battles of 1916-17’, Honest History, 20 November 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Some Fairfax papers today carry an article by Michael Grealy on the conscription referendums

Click here for all items related to: ,

Davison, Graeme: Do we belong here? Reflections on family, locality and community

Graeme Davison ‘Do we belong here? Reflections on family, locality and community (Address to the Victorian Community History Awards, 16 October 2017)‘, RHSV News, November 2017, pp. 4-5 This speech was delivered in Melbourne. It asks some important questions: Do

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Jenkins, Simon: No more remembrance days – let’s consign the 20th century to history

Simon Jenkins ‘No more remembrance days – let’s consign the 20th century to history‘, The Guardian, 9 November 2017 Other Honest History material on Remembrance Day 99 is here and linked therefrom. Simon Jenkins’ piece was shared 12 000 times

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Hugh White writing and talking about Australia in Asia, Xi in China, and Trump in the White House

Hugh White of ANU is bringing out a Quarterly Essay soon, entitled ‘Without America: Australia in the New Asia’. The link above has details of chats with Hugh White in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra from 28 November to 5 December.

Click here for all items related to:

Paradoxical purchase: War Memorial acquires APY ‘defence of Country’ painting Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa

The Australian War Memorial has unveiled a large painting by artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia. The painting, Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa (‘Country and Culture will be protected by spears’) hangs in a conspicuous

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Perry, Roland: Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History

Roland Perry Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2017 The book ‘tells the story of the emergence and dominance of these brilliant Australian soldiers, who commanded the two

Click here for all items related to: ,

Abbott, Derek: Another ripping yarn from Australia’s Great War

Derek Abbott* ‘Another ripping yarn from Australia’s Great War’, Honest History, 16 November 2017 A review of Roland Perry’s Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History Let’s get it out of the way

Click here for all items related to: ,

Four late offerings for Remembrance Day: what should we remember really?

We have already posted some material relevant to 11 November, Remembrance Day, the 99th of that designation. That little collection links to the other posts. There’s also Simon Jenkins from The Guardian, who says ‘enough already’ of Remembrance Day. Two

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Jones, Rebecca: Slow Catastrophes: Living with Drought in Australia

Rebecca Jones Slow Catastrophes: Living with Drought in Australia, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2017 Living with drought is one of the biggest issues of our times. Climate change scenarios suggest that in the next fifty years global warming will increase

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Winging it with Dr Chau: Clive Hamilton’s suppressed book has more about the War Memorial’s Fellow

Update 26 February 2018: the book has been published by Hardie Grant. Update 1 March 2018: Our take on the Dr Chau angle. Update 1 December 2017: Dr Chau hosts a policy conference in China, where speakers include President Xi.

Click here for all items related to: ,

Letter to the Editor: Euphemisms are deadly

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: Every Anzac and Remembrance Day, we hear euphemisms for men and women who have died in war. They are “the fallen”, they “made the supreme sacrifice”, “they shall grow not

Click here for all items related to: ,

Online Gem No. 14: Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet: an Australian Nobel Prize winner

‘Online Gem No. 14: Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet: an Australian Nobel Prize winner’, Honest History, 12 November 2017 According to Wikipedia, 16 Australians have been awarded a Nobel Prize since 1915, with the majority of these being in physiology or

Click here for all items related to:

Beyond the poppies row on row: Remembrance Day is a good day to think

Remembrance Day (Armistice Day, if you prefer) – like Anzac Day, Christmas, Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Diwali, Melbourne Cup Day, and other regular ceremonial and commemorative occasions – triggers virtually automatic reactions among many of us. Poppies, stories of old Diggers,

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Down the Remembrance Trail to Villers-Bretonneux with the (fairly self-effacing – so far) DVA publicity machine

Readers of the Launceston Examiner, North-west Tasmania Advocate and Canberra Times earlier this week will have seen some articles under the byline of Michael Grealy. The articles in the Canberra Times were headed ‘New tribute to Diggers in Europe’, ‘“Mad

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Glover, Jeff: “Trying to be something they’re not”: grandfathers, Diggers, and Peter FitzSimons

Jeff Glover* ‘“Trying to be something they’re not”: grandfathers, Diggers, and Peter FitzSimons’, Honest History, 10 November 2017 As a 61-year-old avid reader of Australian military history, all too often these days I find inaccuracies, mistruths and even lies about

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Letter to the Editor: War Memorial a great place but no ‘soul of our nation’

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: What nonsense from Bill Shorten (Private Capital, November 7, p. 13). The War Memorial no more “represents the soul of our nation” than any other place where Australians gather. It

Click here for all items related to:

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (29): All at once – another conscription vote and news of Bolshevik revolution

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (29): All at once – another conscription vote and news of Bolshevik revolution’, Honest History, 9 November 2017 updated The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Another run at conscription The possibility of a second conscription referendum

Click here for all items related to: ,

Faber, David: Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge

David Faber* ‘Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge‘, Honest History, 8 November 2017 The paper concerns the recent centenary of the Battle of Beersheba and what the author sees as

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge

David Faber* ‘Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge’, Honest History, 8 November 2017 Can historians know the mind of God? It is a long time since most historians have scrutinised

Click here for all items related to: , ,

The Honest History Book is on this non-fiction list – and well covered

Lisa Hill at popular blog ANZ LitLovers has done a list of books for non-fiction November. The Honest History Book is on Lisa’s list of 13 non-fiction books of 2017. (Lisa reviewed the book recently.) Also on the LitLovers list

Butler, Richard: Iraq 2003: the fabricated war of choice

Richard Butler ‘Iraq 2003: the fabricated war of choice‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 November 2017 Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has revealed a report showing that US intelligence agencies knew Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and

Click here for all items related to: ,

Guardian Australia: From Louise Lovely to Nicole Kidman: 100 years of Australian film – in pictures

Guardian Australia ‘From Louise Lovely to Nicole Kidman: 100 years of Australian film – in pictures‘, Guardian Australia, 5 November 2017 Cheery on a wet day in Canberra, this is a promo for an exhibition, Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits, opening

Click here for all items related to:

Honest History E-newsletter No. 47, 25 October 2017

ISSN: 2202-5561 © New and recently on the Honest History website: original material, book reviews, links Michael Piggott reviews Ross McMullin’s new book, Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. Kristen Alexander reviews Clare Makepeace’s new book, Captives of War: British

Two reviews of – and a French riff off – The Honest History Book

The Honest History Book was published seven months ago and is still doing very well, thank you. There have been lots of reviews and comments (follow the link above) and here are some more. French-Australian historian, Romain Fathi, now at

The Atatürk memorial at Anzac Cove has been restored but the words – though moving – are still dubious

The photograph below, taken on 29 October, shows the Atatürk memorial at Anzac Cove (Ari Burnu) after recent refurbishment. Honest History offered some advice to Turkish President Erdoğan about future options for the memorial but – not surprisingly perhaps –

Click here for all items related to:

Specially Forced? Odd outburst from Director of Australian War Memorial

ABC TV News yesterday (2 November 2017) repeatedly ran an interview by Defence reporter, Andrew Greene, with Australian War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, in which Dr Nelson questioned the time being taken by the Army’s review into the conduct of

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: ‘Age shall not weary them’: questioning a Kokoda claim

David Stephens* ‘ “Age shall not weary them”: questioning a Kokoda claim’, Honest History, 3 November 2017 This week’s 75th anniversary of Kokoda has seen repeated claims about the average age of Australian soldiers in the Kokoda campaign. For example,

Click here for all items related to: ,

Walsh: Nick: Kokoda Track: from the Honest History archives

[Note: this post was originally published in January 2016. Ministerial press release to mark 75th anniversary of Kokoda campaign.] Nick Walsh Kokoda Track, The author, 2nd edition, Melbourne 2012 This little book (70 pages, a dozen photographs, two clear maps) was

Click here for all items related to: ,

Beavis, Margaret: US militarism: what are the costs to Australia?

Margaret Beavis ‘US militarism: what are the costs to Australia?‘, Pearls and Irritations, 31 October 2017 It is time to reflect on the close enmeshment of Australian and US foreign policy, and the real costs of such close military ties.

Click here for all items related to: ,

Newton, Douglas: Beersheba and the scramble for the Ottoman Empire – and more on the Beersheba centenary boast

Update 8 November 2017: David Faber writes about the Beersheba centenary and the work of Kelvin Crombie (Gallipoli – The Road to Jerusalem), who has tried to put the Gallipoli campaign into a Christian context. Essentially, Crombie argues that the

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Broinowski, Alison: A foreign affairs Alt-White Paper

Alison Broinowski ‘A foreign affairs Alt-White Paper‘, Independent Australia, 27 October 2017 Dr Broinowski suggests what should be in the foreign policy White Paper due for release soon. The themes are independence and innovation. For other material on this subject

Click here for all items related to: ,

Brodie, Nick: The Vandemonian War

Nick Brodie The Vandemonian War, Hardie Grant, Melbourne, 2017; available electronically The Vandemonian War had many sides and shades, but it was fundamentally a war between the British colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and the Aboriginal people who lived

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Shield, John: A Vandemonian war story passionately told

John Shield* ‘A Vandemonian war story passionately told’, Honest History, 29 October 2017 John Shield reviews The Vandemonian War by Nick Brodie If you were slightly unsure about this book and its subject matter before, Nick Brodie does everybody a

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Gallagher, Emily: ‘Bang, bang, bang!’: the shock of a boy playing with a gun on a suburban street

Emily Gallagher ‘“Bang, bang, bang!”: the shock of a boy playing with a gun on a suburban street‘, The Conversation, 25 October 2017 A perceptive brief survey of the changing patterns of children’s urban play in Australia. Over the last

Click here for all items related to: ,

Australian Historical Association National Conference July 2018: call for papers

The 2018 Conference of the Australian Historical Association, ‘The Scale of History’, is on at the Australian National University in Canberra, 2-6 July 2018. Historians make choices about the scale of their inquiry. They set parameters for their projects –

Tell us What’s On – and we can tell other people

After running a separate What’s On page since we began the Honest History website, we now reckon the best way of keeping up with what’s happening – and adding value for readers – is for us to do individual website

Hocking, Jenny: ‘A royal green light’: The Palace, the Governor-General and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government

Jenny Hocking ‘“A royal green light”: the Palace, the Governor-General and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government‘, Pearls and Irritations, 23 October 2017 Contrary to the accepted story that the Queen was not involved in the dismissal of the Whitlam

Click here for all items related to: ,

Kahn, Matthew: How far must Trump ‘unravel’ before the 25th Amendment kicks in?

Matthew Kahn ‘How far must Trump “unravel” before the 25th Amendment kicks in?‘ Foreign Policy, 23 October 2017 A detailed and sober assessment of the possibilities of using the 25th Amendment (presidential disability) to the United States Constitution to remove

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Here we go again: complaints about history curricula, this time tertiary

David Stephens ‘Here we go again: complaints about history curricula, this time tertiary’, Honest History, 25 October 2017 updated There’s been another sprouting of what commentators with a horticultural background once used to call ‘a hardy perennial’ – complaints about

Click here for all items related to: , ,

McMullin, Ross: Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words

Ross McMullin Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words, Scribe, Melbourne, 2017; e-book available The wartime letters and diaries of Pompey Elliott, Australia’s most famous fighting general, are exceptionally forthright. They are also remarkably illuminating about his volatile emotions

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Piggott, Michael: Pompey Elliott’s war reporting, letters and diaries reveal a complex man and soldier

Michael Piggott* ‘Pompey Elliott’s war reporting, letters and diaries reveal a complex man and soldier’, Honest History, 25 October 2017 Michael Piggott reviews Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words  Fifteen years ago, Ross McMullin published his massive and

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Centenary Watch October-November 2017

Update 20 November 2017: Officially sponsored 2017 view of the conscription battles of 1916-17 The Department of Veterans’ Affairs-Fairfax ‘contributed content’ partnership has produced a sober and balanced short article on the conscription plebiscites of 1916-17. Can it last? Update

Click here for all items related to:

1917: Year of War and Revolution seminar in Canberra, 4 November

The Canberra group of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History and the School of History at the Australian National University are holding a seminar at the ANU on 4 November. Aspects of the tumultous year 1917 will

Alexander, Kristen: Captives of war make a compelling story of World War II

Kristen Alexander* ‘Captives of war make a compelling story of World War II’, Honest History, 22 October 2017 Kristen Alexander reviews Clare Makepeace’s Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War Clare Makepeace’s grandfather

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Makepeace, Clare: Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War

Clare Makepeace Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, 2017 This book is of Australian interest, as some 8000 Australians were POWs in Europe during World War II, although they

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Australia Explained: a website by an ex-European for migrants who find themselves in the Wide Brown Land

We’ve caught up with Australia Explained, a website wrangled by Dr Ingeborg van Teeseling, who came here in 2006 from the Netherlands. The site has sections on history, Aussie mavericks, books, films, people, resources and opinions, as well as Ingeborg’s

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that ‘has lost its way’

David Stephens ‘Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that “has lost its way”‘, Honest History, 18 October 2017 updated Today’s Canberra Times (online and hard copy) included a letter from me which was butchered by the

Click here for all items related to:

The Dunera Boys 77 years on: Dunera News No. 101

Thanks to our contacts in the Dunera community (still going strong after 77 years) for passing us their latest newsletter, dated October 2017. This edition includes a re-enactment, reunions and some interesting personal stories. For readers who don’t know, the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

‘Anzackery’ definition included in the new edition of the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary

‘Anzackery’ is one of the new words included in the sixth and latest edition of the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, edited by Mark Gwynn and Amanda Laugesen, and to be published on 26 October. As in the Australian National Dictionary

Click here for all items related to: ,

Morrissey, Doug: The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly

Doug Morrissey* ‘The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly‘, Honest History, 15 October 2017 updated Ned Kelly, hero or villain, put-upon Irish victim or psychopathic killer? These questions have been around for almost the whole time since Kelly was executed almost

Click here for all items related to: , ,

The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly

Doug Morrissey* ‘The heritage marketing of Ned Kelly’, Honest History, 15 October 2017 Mention Ned Kelly and everybody has an opinion. To many people, Ned is a hero, a champion of the poor man, the quintessential Aussie battler. To others,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Official Anzac pitch to schools deserves an alternative view: Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial; The Honest History Book

There is much more to Australia’s wartime history than its military history. There is much more to Australia’s history than the history of its wars. At a time when Minister Tehan is handing out Anzac Day Awards to schools across

Click here for all items related to:

Tocsin magazine brings out another edition … and here’s an apposite poem from 1917

Honest History noted a little while ago the launch of Tocsin, a publication from the John Curtin Research Centre. The centre’s inaugural gala dinner happens to be tonight, addressed by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten. Tocsin‘s second number

Click here for all items related to: ,

Shield, John: Dylan Voller, Kinchela and a long history of silence

John Shield* ‘Dylan Voller, Kinchela and a long history of silence’, Honest History, 9 October 2017 On 17 November, the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory will deliver its final report. No doubt

Click here for all items related to: ,

Beavis, Margaret: A Nobel Peace Prize born in Australia

Margaret Beavis ‘A Nobel Peace Prize born in Australia‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 October 2017 updated Discusses the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to an Australian-founded organisation. The winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to

Click here for all items related to: ,

Gapps, Stephen: Blackbirding: Australia’s slave trade?

Stephen Gapps ‘Blackbirding: Australia’s slave trade?‘ Australian National Maritime Museum blog, 25 August 2017 updated Update 30 October 2017: (Waskam) Emelda Davis, president of Australian South Sea Islanders, writes in The Conversation: “Blackbirding” comes from the African slave trade and

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Stephens, David: Who’s Schlesinger now? Something that may have happened in the Nixon era could be relevant today

David Stephens ‘Who’s Schlesinger now? Something that may have happened in the Nixon era could be relevant today‘, Pearls and Irritations, 5 October 2017 updated Update 19 November 2017: More on this issue in a post from the BBC (with

Click here for all items related to: ,

St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne: Anzac Day, 25 April 2017: Truly, we will remember them

St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne Anzac Day, 25 April 2017: Truly, we will remember them (pdf supplied by Rev. John H. Smith). The order of service is headed, ‘An Ecumenical Service of Lament, Repentance and Hope for the Centenary of the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Bowen, Chris; The case for engagement with Asia

Chris Bowen ‘The case for engagement with Asia‘ (speech to the Asia Society), Chris Bowen, 29 September 2017 updated Labor Shadow Treasurer says: Australia needs a step change in our economic relationship with Asia. Our economic relationship with Asia has

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Higgins, Claire: Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia’s Refugee Policy

Claire Higgins Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia’s Refugee Policy, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2017 Claire Higgins’ [book] is driven by the question of how we moved from a humanitarian approach to policies of mandatory detention − including on remote islands

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Clark, Anna: Plenty of fish in the sea? Not necessarily, as history shows

Anna Clark ‘Plenty of fish in the sea? Not necessarily, as history shows‘, The Conversation, 3 October 2017 A look at the history of fishing in Australia, from pre-1788 and going back thousands of years, to now, with draft plans

Click here for all items related to: ,

More thoughts on the memorials/statues debate: Don Watson and Tracey Spicer

We have collected lots of links from home and abroad on the recently aired (but perennial) issue of statues, monuments, memorials, remembering and forgetting. You can find them here, under the heading ‘The past, choosing our history, and memorials: an

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: What wars do to soldiers: Greg Lockhart’s The Minefield

David Stephens ‘What wars do to soldiers: Greg Lockhart’s The Minefield‘, Honest History, 2 October 2017 updated All wars are different yet all wars are the same. No matter which politicians garner credit or blame, regardless of which officers get

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Clarke, Patricia: Jennie Scott Griffiths: a Texas-born red ragger

Patricia Clarke ‘Jennie Scott Griffiths: a Texas-born red ragger‘, NLA Unbound: the National Library of Australia Magazine, June 2017 A biographical article on this feminist and anti-conscription campaigner during Australia’s Great War. She was an indefatigable worker in radical causes

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Abjorensen, Norman: The art of being prime minister (review of Strangio, ’t Hart & Walter)

Norman Abjorensen ‘The art of being prime minister‘, Inside Story, 29 September 2017 Long review of Paul Strangio, Paul ’t Hart and James Walter, The Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949–2016, which is the second volume

Click here for all items related to:

Corn, Aaron: Friday essay: Dr Joe Gumbula, the ancestral chorus, and how we value Indigenous knowledges

Aaron Corn ‘Friday essay: Dr Joe Gumbula, the ancestral chorus, and how we value Indigenous knowledges‘, The Conversation, 29 September 2017 An edited version of the Dr Joe Gumbula Memorial Lecture presented at the 16th Symposium on Indigenous Music and

Click here for all items related to: ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 46, 21 September 2017

ISSN: 2202-5561 © The Honest History Book The Honest History Book, published in early April, is still selling well, has been favourably reviewed in a number of places (including by Anna Clark below), and is now in its second print.

War Memorial Director Brendan Nelson at the Press Club: speech or performance art? Centenary Watch update

David Stephens of Honest History analyses last week’s National Press Club address by the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson. The speech was called ‘Tragedy and triumph – 1917’ and looked at Passchendaele and Beersheba, two key

Click here for all items related to:

Haultain-Gall, Matthew: Forgetting and remembering the Anzacs in Flanders Fields

Matthew Haultain-Gall ‘Forgetting and remembering the Anzacs in Flanders Fields‘, Overland, 26 September 2017 Discusses why the battles of Ypres (including Passchendaele) have not had a higher profile in Australian collective memory. The third battle of Ypres did not fit

Click here for all items related to: , ,

19th International Cinema of the Antipodes Festival, Saint Tropez

If you happen to be in St Tropez between 9 and 15 October, look out for the 19th International Cinema of the Antipodes Festival (19es Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes). Among the films on show are classics like Forty

Daley, Paul: The Anzac skull that tells a shocking and tragic story of battlefield violence

Paul Daley ‘The Anzac skull that tells a shocking and tragic story of battlefield violence‘, Guardian Australia, 25 September 2017 updated Story of an Anzac soldier’s skull exhibited in an American medical museum’s online exhibition. The soldier was shot near

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Stanley, Peter: The Crying Years: Australia’s Great War

Peter Stanley The Crying Years: Australia’s Great War, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2017 Peter Stanley cleverly weaves his narrative around striking images [from the National Library’s collection]—many never seen before—to create a visual history that immerses the reader in

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Butler, Richard: The Alliance: the facts and the furphies

Richard Butler ‘The Alliance: the facts and the furphies‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 September 2017 ‘A review of how we conduct our alliance relationship with the US is urgently required’, says the author, ‘not simply because it has elected a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Haultain-Gall, Matthew: Same old relics, same old story? Displaying the third battle of Ypres at the Australian War Memorial, past and present

Matthew Haultain-Gall ‘Same old relics, same old story? Displaying the third battle of Ypres at the Australian War Memorial, past and present‘, History Australia, vol. 14, no. 3, August 2017, pp. 1-17 (link to online version supplied by author) When

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Political partisans: a conservative line of succession (culminating in Tony Abbott) and the Burkes of Perth

Two new books have hit the shelves. One is thicker than the other but both take the long view. They look at nominally different sides of politics, though readers of both books might suspect considerable overlap of views between the

Click here for all items related to:

Songlines need to be marked and followed: new at the National Museum of Australia

Just opened at the National Museum and running till February is Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters. Songlines – roughly, wisdom-bearing Dreaming paths – may be mysterious to many settler (non-Indigenous) Australians but this exhibition should at least begin to set

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Carmen Lawrence’s 2006 book Fear and Politics is still very relevant more than a decade on

David Stephens ‘Carmen Lawrence’s 2006 book Fear and Politics is still very relevant more than a decade on’, Honest History, 19 September 2017 Carmen Lawrence is a professorial fellow in the School of Psychological Science at the University of Western

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Recently on the Honest History website (20 September 2017)

Our last few weeks have been rather quieter as far as new posts go. A little bit of illness has stalked the ranks of the Honest History elves and this has slowed us down a mite. However, we have still

Centenary Watch September-October 2017

Update 28 September 2017 updated: War Memorial Director Brendan Nelson at the Press Club: speech or performance art? Polygon Wood ‘remembered’ We said (21 September, below) we would look more closely at Dr Nelson’s 19 September National Press Club speech

Click here for all items related to:

Lloyd, Christopher: The roots and limitations of Australian progressivism

Christopher Lloyd* ‘The roots and limitations of Australian progressivism’, Honest History, 20 September 2017 updated This article is a response to Frank Bongiorno’s piece in The Conversation, ‘On marriage equality, Australia’s progressive instincts have been crushed by political failure’, in

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Stephens, David: Here we go again with another lost commemorative opportunity: the Armistice Centenary Grants Program

David Stephens ‘Here we go again with another lost commemorative opportunity: the Armistice Centenary Grants Program’, Honest History, 20 September 2017 Minister Tehan has announced the Armistice Centenary Grants Program (Armistice Grants) a program of grants to commemorate the centenary

Click here for all items related to:

Clark, Anna: Trench warfare: The Honest History Book

Anna Clark ‘Trench warfare: The Honest History Book‘, Sydney Review of Books, 19 September 2017 Review of The Honest History Book (long read). [The authors, says Clark] provide a powerful argument against the superficial, the commercial, and the celebratory aspects

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Johnstone, Ian M.: Armidale and the Great War

Ian M. Johnstone Armidale and the Great War, The author, Armidale NSW, 2017 The book describes the impact of World War I on this New South Wales town and its people. The author has previously written on aspects of New

Click here for all items related to: ,

Armidale and the Great War (review of Johnstone)

‘Armidale and the Great War’, Honest History, 21 September 2017 Frank Bongiorno* reviews Armidale and the Great War, by Ian M. Johnstone One of the positive aspects of the centenary of World War I has been the stimulus it has

Click here for all items related to: ,

Flora, Steve & David Stephens: Les Jauncey, radical Australian historian and person of interest to the FBI: Part II

Steve Flora & David Stephens ‘Les Jauncey, radical Australian historian and person of interest to the FBI: Part II’, Honest History, 19 September 2017 Part I of this post covered the first decade (1941-51) of the FBI’s interest in the

Torsh, Daniela & Max Humphreys: On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967

Daniela Torsh & Max Humphreys ‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967‘, Honest History, 19 September 2017 This extended interview transcript is provided as a primary source for readers interested in the history of protest in

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys

‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys’[1], Honest History, 19 September 2017 Kirribilli House from the Harbour (Wikipedia/Stephen Bain) Daniela Torsh: So Max, I’ve got a question to start with: tell

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Cryle, Denis: Behind the Legend: The Many Worlds of Charles Todd

Denis Cryle Behind the Legend: The Many Worlds of Charles Todd, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2017 “Telegraph” Todd [the man behind the Overland Telegraph through Central Australia] became a legend in his own lifetime for introducing Australian colonists to a

Click here for all items related to: ,

Abbott, Derek: Worlds behind the legend of Charles Todd, the Overland Telegraph man (review of Cryle)

Derek Abbott* ‘Worlds behind the legend of Charles Todd, the Overland Telegraph man’ (review of Cryle), Honest History, 19 September 2017 Derek Abbott reviews Denis Cryle’s Behind the Legend: the Many Worlds of Charles Todd Denis Cryle is to be

Click here for all items related to: ,

Bongiorno, Frank: On marriage equality, Australia’s progressive instincts have been crushed by political failure

Frank Bongiorno ‘On marriage equality, Australia’s progressive instincts have been crushed by political failure’, The Conversation, 18 September 2017 In the context of the forthcoming postal survey, the author looks at aspects of the history of sexuality in Australia. He

Click here for all items related to: ,

Whiteford, Peter: Income inequality ticks down as the rich see their incomes fall: ABS

Peter Whiteford ‘Income inequality ticks down as the rich see their incomes fall: ABS‘, Guardian Australia, 13 September 2017 Summarises the latest survey of Household Income and Wealth from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The richest 20% of the population

Click here for all items related to: ,

Australian Peacekeeping: 70th anniversary and unveiling of memorial

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the first deployment of Australian forces in a peacekeeping role. After many years of effort and fundraising, a memorial to Peacekeepers will be dedicated in Canberra on Thursday, 14 September. Details are in

Click here for all items related to:

Straw, Leigh: After the War: Returned Soldiers and the Mental and Physical Scars of World War I

Leigh Straw After the War: Returned Soldiers and the Mental and Physical Scars of World War I, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, 2017 Of the 330,000 Australian men who enlisted and served in World War I, close to 60,000

Click here for all items related to: ,

After the war way out in the West (review of Leigh Straw)

‘After the war way out in the West’ (review of Leigh Straw), Honest History, 8 September 2017 John Shield* reviews Leigh Straw’s After the War: Returned Soldiers and the Mental and Physical Scars of World War I  After reading Leigh

Click here for all items related to: ,

Tatz, Colin: Australians may well love their sport, but why don’t we delight in success elsewhere?

Colin Tatz ‘Australians may well love their sport, but why don’t we delight in success elsewhere?‘ The Conversation, 6 September 2017 The Australian nation and nationalism, we often proclaim, began at Gallipoli. This is a nonsense, as that sets aside the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Ariotti, Kate & James E. Bennett, ed.: Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts

Kate Ariotti & James E. Bennett, ed. Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts, Palgrave-Springer, New York & Heidelberg, 2017; e-book available by chapters This book contributes to the global turn in First World War studies by

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

A war fought and felt around the world (review of Ariotti & Bennett, ed.)

‘A war fought and felt around the world’ (review of Ariotti & Bennett, ed.), Honest History, 4 September 2017 Martin Crotty* reviews Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts edited by Kate Ariotti and James E. Bennett

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Broinowski, Alison: Till war do us part

Alison Broinowski ‘Till war do us part‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 August 2017 A Fairfax readers poll of some 1300 people showed resounding opposition to Australia sending even the token additional force to Afghanistan. The article also mentions the unwisdom

Click here for all items related to: ,

Brett, Judith: The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

Judith Brett The Enigmatic Mr Deakin, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2017, e-book available This insightful and accessible new biography of Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second prime minister, shines fresh light on one of the nation’s most significant figures. It brings out from

Click here for all items related to:

Shooting the Past: Clare Wright presents radio with historical pictures on ABC RN

Coming up on ABC RN is Shooting the Past, a series of programs each starting with a single photograph and asking ‘what is going on in this picture?’ The series kicks off proper on Friday, 1 September, at 1.30 pm,

Click here for all items related to:

Carr, Andrew: I’m here for an argument: why bipartisanship on security makes Australia less safe

Andrew Carr ‘I’m here for an argument: why bipartisanship on security makes Australia less safe‘, The Australia Institute, 22 August 2017 updated While bipartisanship seems to be an innocuous idea it is actually making us less safe by restricting policy

Click here for all items related to: ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (28): More on the 1917 Great Strike in Australia

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (28): More on the 1917 Great Strike in Australia’, Honest History, 27 August 2017 Update 28 August 2017: Unions NSW advises of its exhibition on the Great Strike. See comment below – and three pictures

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Daley, Paul: Statues are not history. Here are six in Australia that need rethinking

Paul Daley ‘Statues are not history. Here are six in Australia that need rethinking‘, Guardian Australia, 25 August 2017 Daley targets statues of Lachlan Macquarie, John Batman, Thomas Mitchell, Angus McMillan, Alfred Canning and James Cook. We do not learn

Click here for all items related to: ,

Handasyde, Kerrie: Anzac theology and women poets under the Southern Cross

Kerrie Handasyde ‘Anzac theology and women poets under the Southern Cross‘, Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review, Vol. 49 No. 1, May 2017, pp. 17-30 (pdf courtesy of author; open access) During the Great War Australians lived within

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

McQuire, Amy: Don’t just change the date of Australia Day … get rid of it all together

Amy McQuire ‘Don’t just change the date of Australia Day … get rid of it all together‘, Buzzfeed, 19 August 2017 Honest History doesn’t claim this is the only – or a representative – piece on the latest outbreak of

Click here for all items related to: , ,

James, Jonathan D.: As Australia becomes less religious, our parliament becomes more so

Jonathan D. James ‘As Australia becomes less religious, our parliament becomes more so‘, The Conversation, 21 August 2017 An interesting examination as the marriage equality issue bubbles. Even though the 2016 Census revealed that more than 30% of the Australian population identify

Click here for all items related to: , ,

South China Sea, Korea and Pine Gap: three items on foreign and defence policy, historically and now

Former diplomat Mack Williams writes in Pearls and Irritations about the importance of involving South Korea in any ‘solution’ to the festering crisis on the peninsula. Williams is a former Australian ambassador to Seoul. Another former diplomat, Andrew Farran, speculates

Click here for all items related to: ,

Aboriginal History now has 40 years of articles easily searchable three ways

Aboriginal History is published annually by the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra. The journal now offers an index of all of its articles, 450 of them 1977-2016, in Word, Excel or

Click here for all items related to:

The past, choosing our history, and memorials: an issue in Charlottesville and many other places

‘Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You … can’t change history, but you can learn from it.’: President Trump, Twitter, 17 August 2017

Click here for all items related to: ,

Myrtle, John: Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism

John Myrtle ‘Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism’, Honest History, 18 August 2017 updated A paper in three parts: an introduction to Arthur Norman Smith and the endowed Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism;

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism

John Myrtle[1] ‘Observing journalism for 80 years: The Arthur Norman Smith Lecture in Journalism’, Honest History, 18 August 2017 updated Introduction There are three parts to this paper: an introduction to Arthur Norman Smith and the endowed Arthur Norman Smith

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Want to spend the weekend with Constitution section 44? A useful backgrounder from the Parliamentary Library

Note: related material on ‘Australian values’. Update 12 November 2017: more from former Labor speechwriter, Graham Freudenberg, who links the unsuccessful Bicentennial celebrations of 1988 with various events since (Pearls and Irritations). The disqualification of members of parliament is only

Click here for all items related to:

Macintyre, Stuart, Lenore Layman & Jenny Gregory, ed.: A Historian for All Seasons: Essays for Geoffrey Bolton

Stuart Macintyre, Lenore Layman & Jenny Gregory, ed. A Historian for All Seasons: Essays for Geoffrey Bolton, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2017 Geoffrey Bolton [1931-2015] was the most versatile and widely travelled of his generation of Australian historians. As a

Click here for all items related to: ,

‘[M]easured and analytical essays’: Sarah Burnside on Overland reviews The Honest History Book

Overland has posted a review note of The Honest History Book. Author Sarah Burnside of Perth says: I picked up The Honest History Book during the first wave of concerted right-wing attacks on Yassmin Abdel-Magied* for her seven-word facebook post on Anzac

Better late than never: Minister says best form of commemoration is to look after today’s veterans and families

Update later 15 August 2017: Minister welcomes report of the Senate References Committee into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel. (The report is here.) SBS Insight program ‘Coming Home’ on issues faced by ADF personnel coming back into the civilian

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Korea, the war that never ended, might be starting up again: some useful source material

Update 19 August 2017: Michael Leunig on being ‘joined at the hip’ in ANZUS (‘Australia and New Zealand’s Unquestioning Subservience’) As one who was almost jailed under the ANZUS treaty for resisting a notice of military conscription in the Vietnam

Click here for all items related to: ,

‘Joined at the hip’ department: Melbourne conference on keeping Australia out of US wars

The prime minister says Australia will be involved if North Korea attacks the United States in the current heated atmosphere. Indeed, ‘we are joined at the hip’ with the United States. He cites the ANZUS treaty. Even more relevant now

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (27): Recruitment problems in Gippsland 1917 despite patriotic appeals, God and martial music

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (27): ‘Recruitment problems in Gippsland 1917 despite patriotic appeals, God and martial music’, Honest History, 10 August 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series We have made use previously in this series and elsewhere of the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stanley, Peter, ed.: Charles Bean: Man, Myth, Legacy

Peter Stanley, ed. Charles Bean: Man, Myth, Legacy, UNSW Press, Canberra, 2017 Proceedings of a 2016 conference at UNSW Canberra. Australia’s official war correspondent during WWI, Charles Bean was also Australia’s first official war historian and the driving force behind

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

‘There is a land where summer skies are gleaming with a thousand dyes’: a 1977 voluntary vote plebiscite on a musical matter

Plebiscites are in the news. There have been plebiscites before in Australian history. There were two on conscription in 1916-17 and they were held against perhaps the greatest societal divisions in our history. (See our series, ‘Divided sunburnt country‘.) Forty

Click here for all items related to: ,

From the Honest History archives: Lest We Forget Hiroshima 72 years ago this week

Repost from last year. Why? Well, we faithfully and annually commemorate wartime events involving Australians. Some of these events are relatively insignificant, even trivial, in the scheme of things or when compared with other wartime events. It seems only right

Click here for all items related to: ,

Minister says stand-alone DVA will continue – but here’s some advice, just in case

We don’t quite know why he felt the need but Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Minister for Defence Personnel, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security [pause for breath],

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (26): Lest We Forget the Great Strike of 1917

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (26): Lest We Forget the Great Strike of 1917’, Honest History, 7 August 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series One hundred years ago this week, Australia confronted not only the horrors and privations of the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Betty Cuthbert, Australian Olympic Athlete, dead at 79

Reposted from 12 April 2016. The senior citizens among us remember Betty Cuthbert as an athlete when we were all much younger, in a much simpler time. All of us noted her appearance at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and

Click here for all items related to:

Black Mist Burnt Country: touring exhibition tells the story of the Maralinga tests and their impact

The recent death of Yami Lester brings to prominence again the long struggle of activists regarding the impacts of the British atomic tests at Maralinga in the 1950s. Black Mist Burnt Country is a national touring exhibition, which commemorates the 60th

Click here for all items related to: ,

Abjorensen, Norman: Australia’s great political shift

Norman Abjorensen ‘Australia’s great political shift‘, Inside Story, 28 July 2017 On the eve of Liberal and Coalition party meetings on an issue – marriage equality – which has, for some people at least, a religious element, this piece is

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Newton, Douglas: The centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres

Douglas Newton ‘The centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres‘, Pearls and Interpretations, 3 August 2017 The carnage at Ypres and Passchendaele is ‘an object lesson in what happens when an Australian government allows our Allies to dominate in the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Lockhart, Greg: What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front?

Greg Lockhart ‘What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front?’ (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5), Pearls and Irritations, 24-28 July 2017 updated Update 15 August 2017: Lockhart’s further thoughts,

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Inequality is a much more complex issue than kneejerk political responses suggest: a dozen links

Honest History has had a special interest in inequality for more than three years. Under our homepage Inequality thumbnail we have collected a mass of links to resources – reports, comments, even some policy proposals from government – which track

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Dark irony and dishonesty of Dunkirk: misrepresentations, exaggerations, and clunky bits

‘Dark irony and dishonesty of Dunkirk: misrepresentations, exaggerations, and clunky bits’, Honest History, 1 August 2017 Peter Stanley* reviews Dunkirk  Just as Theresa May’s government writhes over the implications of Brexit, there is a dark irony in the appearance of

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Nolan, Christopher (dir.): Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan Dunkirk, Syncopy, Warner Brothers and others, UK, US, France, Netherlands, 2017 Set during the Second World War, [the film, with an ensemble cast] portrays the Dunkirk evacuation … Nolan wrote the script, told from three perspectives—the land, sea, and air—to contain

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 45, 25 July 2017

ISSN: 2202-5561 © The Honest History Book: now into its second printing New on the Honest History website The generations of us: exploring interactions, overlaps and inflections: Michael Piggott reviews Australian Lives: an Intimate History, edited by Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson

Stumbling Past the recent Australian Historical Association conference in Newcastle

Blogger Yvonne Perkins (Stumbling through the Past) has performed a great service by collating material from the recent Australian Historical Association conference in Newcastle. There is an analysis of tweets and blogs, some papers, and lots of other material which

Click here for all items related to: ,

Graham, Chris: How we failed Elijah Doughty, and countless others

Chris Graham ‘How we failed Elijah Doughty, and countless others‘, New Matilda, 23 July 2017 updated Riffs from the recent conviction and sentencing (to a relatively short time in gaol) of a West Australian man for running down and killing

Click here for all items related to: ,

Australian racism and how we see each other: poems by Steven Oliver and a film by Warwick Thornton

We have never come across this poet and comic, Steven Oliver, before – which says more about our lack of awareness than about his talent and perspicacity – but New Matilda ran two videos of his poetry this week and

Click here for all items related to:

Harris, Rhondda, ed.: Ashton’s Hotel: The Journal of William Baker Ashton, First Governor of the Adelaide Gaol

Rhondda Harris, ed. Ashton’s Hotel: The Journal of William Baker Ashton, First Governor of the Adelaide Gaol, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2017 South Australia was meant to be the perfect colony: free settlers, no crime, and no mental illness. But good

Click here for all items related to: ,

Puri, Anisa & Alistair Thomson, ed.: Australian Lives: an Intimate History

Anisa Puri & Alistair Thomson, ed. Australian Lives: an Intimate History, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2017; e-book available Australian Lives: An Intimate History illuminates Australian life across the 20th and into the 21st century: how Australian people have been shaped by

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Flynn, Rosetta: Politics (from The Woman Voter, May 1917): Honest History document

Rosetta Flynn* ‘Politics‘, The Woman Voter, 11 May 1917 (Honest History document) ‘Father, what’s politics?’ the inquiring son demanded. ‘Um – well – er – er – it’s like this, my son. There are two boys, one’s name is Liberal

Click here for all items related to: ,

Centenary Watch July-August 2017

Update 15 August 2017: Better late than never: Minister says best form of commemoration is to look after today’s veterans and families Comment on the inaugural Ministerial Statement on Veterans and their Families, pointing to the Minister’s creative accounting, which

Click here for all items related to:

Recently on the Honest History website (25 July 2017)

We continue to move posts through the site fairly quickly so the place to go, if you know you have missed something or, indeed, to check what you may have missed unwittingly, is under our home page thumbnails, First Peoples,

Honest History: Some extracts from Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Honest History ‘Some extracts from Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial, Second edition, June 2017’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated We have produced the second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial.

Click here for all items related to: ,

The Vimy Trap rings Anzackery bells (review of McKay & Swift)

‘The Vimy Trap rings Anzackery bells’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 David Stephens* reviews The Vimy Trap Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War, by Ian McKay and Jamie Swift   The Battle of Vimy

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Aktar, Ayhan: Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective

Ayhan Aktar * ‘Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective‘, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated The history of the Gallipoli campaign has been contested in Turkey for many decades. The commemorations of the Ottoman naval victory of 18

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective

Ayhan Aktar * ‘Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated [This piece draws upon my article originally published in the Turkish daily newspaper Taraf (Istanbul), 18 March 2014. An earlier English translation by

Click here for all items related to: , ,

McKay, Ian & Jamie Swift: The Vimy Trap Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War

Ian McKay & Jamie Swift The Vimy Trap Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War, Between the Lines Books, Toronto, 2016; e-book available The story of the bloody 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge is, according

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

A gaol story from the city of churches (review of Ashton/Harris)

‘A gaol story from the city of churches’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 John Shield* reviews Ashton’s Hotel: The Journal of William Baker Ashton, First Governor of Adelaide Gaol, edited by Rhondda Harris  We Australians love a good gaol story.

Click here for all items related to: ,

Flora, Steve & David Stephens: Les Jauncey, radical Australian historian and person of interest to the FBI: Part I

Steve Flora & David Stephens ‘Les Jauncey, radical Australian historian and person of interest to the FBI: Part I’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 Leslie Cyril Jauncey (1899-1959) has been a fellow traveller in the Honest History enterprise almost since

The generations of us: Australian Lives (review of Puri and Thomson, ed.)

‘The generations of us: Australian Lives’ (review of Puri and Thomson, ed.), Honest History, 25 July 2017 Michael Piggott* reviews Australian Lives: an Intimate History, edited by Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson  The imperative to secure research grants is one

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Les Jauncey, radical Australian historian and person of interest to the FBI: Part I

Steve Flora & David Stephens ‘Les Jauncey, radical Australian historian and person of interest to the FBI: Part I’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 Reintroducing Les and Bee Jauncey Leslie Cyril Jauncey (1899-1959) has been a fellow traveller in the

Clarkson, Chris, Ben Marwick, et al: Buried tools and pigments tell a new history of humans in Australia for 65,000 years

Chris Clarkson, Ben Marwick, Lynley Wallis, Richard Fullagar & Zenobia Jacobs ‘Buried tools and pigments tell a new history of humans in Australia for 65,000 years‘, The Conversation, 20 July 2017 updated A report of work in the Kakadu area

Click here for all items related to: ,

Broinowski, Alison: Beware: armed response

Alison Broinowski ‘Beware: armed response‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 July 2017 updated Honest History vice president comments on the government’s anti-terrorism measures. If Turnbull’s plan [National Security Statement, last month] becomes law – and the prospects of the Opposition stopping

Click here for all items related to: ,

Arms spending and war: which comes first, at home and abroad?

Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence Industry, has been talking up the possibilities of Australia growing its arms exports industry. Fairfax’s David Wroe says Pyne ‘wants Australia to become a major arms exporter on par with Britain, France and Germany and

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Art and design: 1930s Australia: the art deco designs ushering in a brave new world – in pictures

Art and design ‘1930s Australia: the art deco designs ushering in a brave new world – in pictures‘, Guardian Australia, 14 July 2017 We normally try to find an author for our posts. No luck this time, but we’ll still

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (25): The Free Religious Fellowship: anti-conscription – and unexpected family history

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Chris Wade’s article, ‘Practical idealists: the Free Religious Fellowship, the Great War and conscription‘, reminds us of the breadth and depth of feeling against conscription in Great War Australia: the cause was taken up by

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Bongiorno, Frank: Donald Horne’s ‘lucky country’ and the decline of the public intellectual

Frank Bongiorno ‘Donald Horne’s “lucky country” and the decline of the public intellectual‘, The Conversation, 11 July 2017 updated Honest History’s president reviews Donald Horne: Selected Writings, edited by Nick Horne. Horne’s message [in his most famous book, The Lucky

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Australian diversity and what we think about each other – and do to each other

We’ve heard a lot recently about ‘Australian values’ and what the government expects of new arrivals in relation to them. (The term ‘Australian values’ seems to be relatively recent in our history though it has popped up previously.) There is

Click here for all items related to: ,

Reynolds, Henry: Memories and massacres

Henry Reynolds ‘Memories and massacres‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 July 2017 For over 30 years, Henry Reynolds has been writing about massacres of Indigenous Australians. The culmination of his research was the well-received book Forgotten War in 2013. This brief

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Cain, Frank: The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia

Frank Cain The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2017; first published 1993 Driven by Marxist ideology, the Industrial Workers of the World sought to draw the Australian

Click here for all items related to: , ,

The Wobblies at War (review of Cain)

‘The Wobblies at War’ (review of Cain), Honest History, 11 July 2017 Rowan Day* reviews Frank Cain’s The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia This is a republication of Frank Cain’s 1993

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Sherratt, Tim: Historic Hansard: Commonwealth of Australia parliamentary debates presented in an easy-to-read format for historians and other lovers of political speech

Tim Sherratt Historic Hansard: Commonwealth of Australia parliamentary debates presented in an easy-to-read format for historians and other lovers of political speech This is a searchable database of Commonwealth Hansard, Reps and Senate, from 1901 to so far, 1980. You

Click here for all items related to:

United Nations adopts treaty banning nuclear weapons despite opposition from nuclear nations – and Australia

While the posturing around Korea (here and use our Search engine) proceeded, the United Nations on Friday adopted the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. States will begin signing the treaty on 20 September. The treaty comes into force

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: Hidden in plain sight: Aboriginal massacre map should be no surprise

David Stephens ‘Hidden in plain sight: Aboriginal massacre map should be no surprise‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 July 2017 updated Follow-up to Professor Lyndall Ryan’s map, unveiled at the Australian Historical Association conference, of settler massacres of Indigenous Australians. The

Click here for all items related to: ,

Two blogs about North Korea on Pearls and Irritations: taking a level-headed view of brinkmanship

Update 11 July 2017: another former Ambassador to Korea, Mack Williams, weighs in, suggesting that Australian alliance links with the United States are the most likely cause of our being a target for North Korean missiles (Pearls and Irritations). Dennis

Click here for all items related to:

The Conversation on cancer, comrades and cyber warfare: helping Dear Reader to keep up

Honest History has often sung the praises of The Conversation because it provides readable, evidence-based material from people who know their stuff. We suspect that many of our readers also read The Conversation. But we still think it is worth

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Wahlquist, Calla: Map of massacres of Indigenous people reveals untold history of Australia, painted in blood

Calla Wahlquist ‘Map of massacres of Indigenous people reveals untold history of Australia, painted in blood‘, Guardian Australia, 5 July 2017 updated Reports a paper by Professor Lyndall Ryan (University of Newcastle) at the Australian Historical Association conference in Newcastle.

Click here for all items related to: ,

This week in the Russian Revolution 1917: courtesy of the World Socialist Web Site – and Alexander Kerensky

We have previously respectfully drawn readers’ attention to the resources of the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), which tracks world politics from the perspective of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). The Fourth International was founded by Leon

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Death of Emeritus Professor Antonio (Tony) Sagona of the University of Melbourne

Honest History notes the death on 29 June of Emeritus Professor Antonio (Tony) Sagona of the University of Melbourne, and offers condolences to his friends and family. A death notice is here and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Glyn

Allen, Liz: Australia doesn’t have a population policy – why?

Liz Allen ‘Australia doesn’t have a population policy – why?’, The Conversation, 3 July 2017 updated Despite recommendations from inquiries over a number of years, Australia lacks a population policy. Includes key graphs covering decades and concludes as follows: A

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Armenian Genocide 1915-23: 43 distinguished Australians call on SBS to change its approach to this historic humanitarian disaster

Honest History has provided many resources on the Armenian Genocide (use our Search engine with term ‘Armenian’). The Honest History Book includes a chapter by Vicken Babkenian and Judith Crispin on Australian involvement with Armenians after the Genocide, which is

Click here for all items related to: ,

Gillard, Julia: John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Anniversary Lecture, Perth

Julia Gillard ‘John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Anniversary Lecture, Perth‘, Beyond Blue, 28 June 2017 Former prime minister, now chairperson of a mental health organisation, Beyond Blue, speaking about another former prime minister who had mental health issues. Curtin’s determination

Click here for all items related to: ,

Gainsborough, Vance: Tocsin first and Meanjin latest: alarm bells at the bend in the river: review note

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Tocsin first and Meanjin latest: alarm bells at the bend in the river: review note’, Honest History, 2 July 2017 A ‘tocsin’ is an alarm bell or signal and ‘Meanjin’ is an Indigenous word for the bend in

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Highlights reel: Hilary Mantel, historical novelist, on what history is all about

Dame Hilary Mantel (author of Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies and other books) is this year’s Reith Lecturer for the BBC. You can find transcripts and audio of the lectures (weekly, 13 June 2017 for five weeks) on the

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Menadue, John: By accepting funding from weapons suppliers the Australian War Memorial demeans Australia’s war dead

John Menadue ‘By accepting funding from weapons suppliers the Australian War Memorial demeans Australia’s war dead‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 June 2017 John Menadue, former senior public servant and businessman, wrote to Brendan Nelson, Director of the War Memorial, to

Click here for all items related to: ,

Hayes, Sarah: Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today

Sarah Hayes ‘Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today‘, The Conversation, 29 June 2017 Archaeological excavations across Melbourne have uncovered masses of rubbish dating back to the Gold Rush era of the 1850s and 1860s. Artefacts recovered

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Census results: 45.5 per cent of us had one or both parents born overseas – but does the Anglo-Celtic narrative still dominate?

The Conversation has a comprehensive coverage of the results of the 2016 Census (six articles from this week, plus earlier material), released yesterday. The Census website goes into further detail. There is also a video on the Guardian Australia site

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Eligon, John: Australia through American eyes (New York Times and ABC Foreign Correspondent)

John Eligon ‘Australia through American eyes‘, New York Times, 26 June 2017 Journalist Eligon, who writes about race for the Times, visits the Kimberley, Murray Island, Inala (Brisbane) and other parts of Australia, talking to Indigenous Australians. The article complements

Click here for all items related to: ,

Australian War Memorial’s $16.1 million shed for big war things: money well spent?

As reported in the Canberra Times, the Australian War Memorial is making its case to the parliamentary Public Works Committee to build a $16.1 million facility at Mitchell in Canberra. On past form, the PWC will put a tick on

Click here for all items related to:

Stephens, David: “Australian values” and security: have we been here before?

David Stephens ‘”Australian values” and security: have we been here before?’ Honest History, 26 June 2017 updated Note: related material on section 44 of the Constitution. Update 19 October 2017: the Government’s proposed citizenship changes fail to pass the Senate.

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Piccini, Jon: Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War

Jon Piccini ‘Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War‘, JHI Blog, 13 June 2017 This small case study provides insights into how the idea of human rights has been contested over time. Australia’s two Amnesty Sections – not

Click here for all items related to: , ,

McGuinness, Phillipa: How to… write a book proposal

Phillipa McGuinness ‘How to … write a book proposal’, AHA Early Career Researchers Blog, 22 June 2017 What a buzzy little production this blog is and this is a really useful short note on it from the Executive Publisher of

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier

David Stephens ‘Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier’, Honest History, 22 June 2017 Norman Graham Freudenberg AM is 83 years old this year. He has written speeches for Labor leaders,

Click here for all items related to: , , , , ,

Lowy Institute Poll 2017 shows some shifts in Australians’ opinions about the world out there

The Lowy Institute annually polls Australian opinions on international relations. This year’s poll (1200 respondents by telephone in the first half of March) yielded these results (key points only, Executive summary, more at the link above): Most Australians (79%) are

Click here for all items related to:

Talking about The Conversation: five easy pieces in just a few days

Update 22 June 2017: and, lo, just as we ruled a line and settled on the headline, The Conversation came good again with: three charts on looming differential access to the National Broadband Network (digital divide, another form of inequality);

Click here for all items related to: , , , ,

Muller, Denis: Mixed media: how Australia’s newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right

Denis Muller ‘Mixed media: how Australia’s newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right‘, The Conversation, 19 June 2017 updated Historical view of the ownership and attitudes of Australian newspapers since the 19th century, though nowadays it is

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Daley, Paul: The legacy reverberates: how a repulsive image reminds us of our ugly past

Paul Daley ‘The legacy reverberates: how a repulsive image reminds us of our ugly past‘, Guardian Australia, 19 June 2017 Riffs off Every Mother’s Son is Guilty: Policing the Kimberley Frontier of Western Australia 1882-1905, by Chris Owen, the cover

Click here for all items related to: ,

Stephens, David: Now that the Ataturk Memorial at Gallipoli is being restored … some options for President Erdogan to consider

David Stephens ‘Now that the Atatürk Memorial at Gallipoli is being restored … some options for President Erdoğan to consider’, Honest History, 18 June 2017 updated Update 13 July 2017: interesting questions posed (in Turkish) by veteran Gallipoli tour guide,

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Honest History E-newsletter No. 44, 13 June 2017

ISSN: 2202-5561 © The Honest History Book New on the Honest History website Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns: Barry Jones’ keynote speech to the Brunswick-Coburg conscription conference, 20 May Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War

Stephens, David: Anzac is not just the One Day of the Year: the myth that just keeps on giving

David Stephens ‘Anzac is not just the One Day of the Year: the myth that just keeps on giving’, Honest History, 16 June 2017 While we have been promoting The Honest History Book – which is doing very well, thank

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Turkish Gallipoli memorials refurbishment takes out Ataturk’s apocryphal ‘Those heroes’ words – for now at least

Update 18 June 2017: our considered view on all of this, including three options for what to do next – addressed to President Erdogan. Update 18 June 2017: Yahoo 7; Courier Mail; Stuff Co NZ; Daily Mail; News Limited; West

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Winter, Geoffrey: AFL Aficionados!! Not many people know this

Geoffrey Winter* ‘AFL Aficionados!! Not many people know this’, Honest History, 15 June 2017 Jock McHale (Wikipedia) In 120 years of VFL-AFL premiership competition (1897-2016), 25 coaches have led their clubs to just one premiership each. Another 25 coaches have

Click here for all items related to: ,

Butler, Richard: Turnbull, Trump and the Alliance

Richard Butler ‘Turnbull, Trump and the Alliance‘, Pearls and Irritations, 14 June 2017 updated Update 3 August 2017: Richard Broinowski in Pearls and Irritations on the broader implications of the Talisman Sabre/Talisman Saber joint military exercise. Update 31 July 2017:

Click here for all items related to: ,

Russell, Sophie & Eileen Baldry: Three charts on: Australia’s booming prison population

Sophie Russell & Eileen Baldry ‘Three charts on: Australia’s booming prison population‘, The Conversation, 14 June 2017 Ten years of ABS statistics on remand versus sentenced prisoner numbers (remand numbers going up more), Indigenous imprisonment rates (going up), women in

Click here for all items related to: ,

Henley, Ben & Nerilie Abram: The three-minute story of 800,000 years of climate change with a sting in the tail

Ben Henley & Nerilie Abram ‘The three-minute story of 800,000 years of climate change with a sting in the tail‘, The Conversation, 13 June 2017 Includes a short video which puts recent climate change and carbon dioxide emissions into the context

Click here for all items related to: ,

New edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial complements The Honest History Book

Fourteen months ago, we posted on this website Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial. Since then the Guide has been downloaded more than 2000 times. A little more than two months ago, NewSouth published The Honest History

Patience, Allan: It’s time for new politics

Allan Patience ‘It’s time for new politics‘, Pearls and Irritations, 12 June 2017 Looks at the recent success of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn and detects the fall of old politics and the rise of new. Only by implication are

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Moore, Robyn: History textbooks still imply that Australians are white

Robyn Moore ‘History textbooks still imply that Australians are white‘, The Conversation, 12 June 2017 Looks at textbooks from the 1950s on and concludes: Australian history textbooks have made considerable progress towards presenting more inclusive and balanced narratives. However, this

Click here for all items related to: ,

Schultz, Julianne & Jerath Head, ed.: Griffith Review 56: Millennials Strike Back

Julianne Schultz & Jerath Head, ed. Griffith Review 56: Millennials Strike Back, April 2017 Millennials, those born in the final decades of the twentieth century, have had bad press for a long time. Now they are fighting back as they

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies

Barry Jones ‘Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies (Keynote address, Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May 2017)’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 The conscription referendums as a turning point in Australian politics I

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Jones, Barry: Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies

Barry Jones ‘Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies (Keynote address, Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May 2017)’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 This one day conference addressed a number of aspects of the

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Rosen, Sue: Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II

Sue Rosen Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2017 In 1942 the threat of Japanese invasion hung over Australia. The men were away overseas, fighting on other

Click here for all items related to: ,

Munday, Bruce: Those Wild Rabbits: How They Shaped Australia

Bruce Munday Those Wild Rabbits: How They Shaped Australia, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2017 Those Wild Rabbits highlights not only the damage done but also Australia’s missed opportunities for real rabbit control. It recognises the bush’s paradoxical love affair with an

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong

Willy Bach ‘Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Australia’s war in Vietnam has been relatively well documented. Less is known, however, about what

Click here for all items related to: ,

Honest History: Second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Honest History ‘Second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Update 1 October 2017: the For Country, For Nation exhibition (discussed in the Alternative Guide) closed in Canberra in September

Click here for all items related to: , , , , ,

Time-travelling millennials: Griffith Review 56

‘Time-travelling millennials: Griffith Review 56’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 Emily Gallagher* reviews Griffith Review 56: Millennials Strike Back There is no such thing as a normative childhood. Generations of children might share in a collection of culturally specific circumstances,

Click here for all items related to: , , ,

Bach, Willy: Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong

Willy Bach ‘Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Update 28 June 2017: Willy Bach died yesterday. Honest History sends condolences to his friends

Click here for all items related to: ,

Scorched earth flames are fanned again (review of Rosen)

‘Scorched earth flames are fanned again’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 Derek Abbott* reviews Sue Rosen’s Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II The reality of the threat of a Japanese invasion

Click here for all items related to: ,

Myrtle, John: How wild rabbits shaped the wide brown land (review of Munday)

John Myrtle* ‘How wild rabbits shaped the wide brown land’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 John Myrtle reviews Those Wild Rabbits: How They Shaped Australia by Bruce Munday It is strange but undoubtedly the fact that animals brought from Europe

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Leadbeater, Kate: Teaching Indigenous archaeology: when the evidence is just next door

Kate Leadbeater* ‘Teaching Indigenous archaeology: when the evidence is just next door’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 When I took on the Stage 1 Ancient Studies class my thoughts instantly went to the Roman Empire, Egypt, Greece, and all those

Click here for all items related to: ,

Centenary Watch June-July 2017

Update 5 July 2017: Enlistment news from a century ago: Australians prefer not to be there We run this graph from time to time (courtesy of Joan Beaumont, Broken Nation, where the original graph and Ernest Scott’s figures appear in

Click here for all items related to:

Recently on the Honest History website (13 June 2017)

We launched the Honest History website in November 2013. At that time we had about 600 posts on the site. In June 2017, we have more than 2500 posts on the site and most of those posts include links to

Taylor, Elizabeth & Andrew Butt: Three charts on: Australia’s declining taste for beef and growing appetite for chicken

Elizabeth Taylor & Andrew Butt ‘Three charts on: Australia’s declining taste for beef and growing appetite for chicken‘, The Conversation, 9 June 2017 Just what it says on the tin. ‘Australians were once world champion beef-eaters but now you’re much

Click here for all items related to: ,

Michael Piggott AM: Honour for Honest History’s Treasurer

Congratulations to Michael Piggott, who has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list, ‘for significant service to the community as an archivist with national and international educational and cultural organisations, and

Sparrow, Jeff: Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia

Jeff Sparrow ‘Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia‘, Guardian Australia, 10 June 2017 Pauline Hanson and others have discussed the possibility of interning perceived suspicious persons. Sparrow recalls how internment was carried out in

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Breen, Sally: Friday essay: the 90s – why you had to be there

Sally Breen ‘Friday essay: the 90s – why you had to be there‘, The Conversation, 9 June 2017 Review of – and thoughts provoked by – a new exhibition, Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s, at the National

Click here for all items related to: ,

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (24): Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes 1917

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen shows in this post on the excellent Shire at War blog (‘Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes in the first half of 1917’) how intense agendas ran deep beneath the apparently simple gesture of farewelling

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Daley, Paul: Tim Fischer’s ties

Paul Daley ‘Tim Fischer’s ties‘, Museum of Australian Democracy Old Parliament House Blog, 7 June 2017 An example of how to hang an insightful biographical piece off a clothing accessory (which, in this case, itself hangs, but hangs correctly only

Click here for all items related to:

Reed, Liz & Lee Arnold: Naracoorte, where half a million years of biodiversity and climate history are trapped in caves

Liz Reed & Lee Arnold ‘Naracoorte, where half a million years of biodiversity and climate history are trapped in caves‘, The Conversation, 6 June 2017 About the Naracoorte Caves in South Australia, one of the world’s best fossil sites, where

Click here for all items related to: ,

Australian Bureau of Statistics: GDP growth moderates as dwelling investment and exports detract from growth

Australian Bureau of Statistics ‘GDP growth moderates as dwelling investment and exports detract from growth‘ (Media release, 7 June 2017) Growth actually slowed in the March quarter (0.3 per cent) and the ABS presser was ‘just the facts’ but those

Click here for all items related to: ,

Wright, Clare: How Australia became a nation, and women won the vote

Clare Wright ‘How Australia became a nation, and women won the vote‘, The Conversation, 6 June 2017 Article to mark the 120th anniversary of the Australasian Federal Convention in Adelaide (Queensland absent). Among the outcomes of the Convention was votes

Click here for all items related to: ,

Abjorensen, Norman: Ben Chifley’s botched attempt to nationalise Australia’s banks

Norman Abjorensen ‘Ben Chifley’s botched attempt to nationalise Australia’s banks‘, Canberra Times (Public Sector Informant), 6 June 2017 Against the background of another poke at banking power, this time by a conservative government, this is a concise summary of Chifley’s

Click here for all items related to: ,

Boucher, Leigh: Only Heaven Knows brings 1940s queer Sydney roaring back to life

Leigh Boucher ‘Only Heaven Knows brings 1940s queer Sydney roaring back to life‘, The Conversation, 6 June 2017 A revived musical gives an insight into a Kings Cross lifestyle that flourished during the war years, then faded for a while. The

Click here for all items related to: , ,

‘A passionate argument for a wider Australian history’: The Honest History Book reviewed in Newtown Review of Books

Posted today in the Newtown Review of Books is a review of The Honest History Book by Adelaide author, Bernard Whimpress. This [the book] is a passionate argument for a wider Australian history. Never have so many ringing phrases from

Five links from left field: communism, radicalism, war and peace, utopia, Tiananmen Square

Sometimes we like to post miscellanies of links – small collections that range reasonably widely but still have a theme. These five are from left field, if not entirely from the left-hand end of that rather glib and facile left-right

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Myrtle, John: Vale David Biles: A pioneer of Australian criminology

John Myrtle* ‘Vale David Biles: A pioneer of Australian criminology‘, Age, 6 June 2017 (an earlier, edited version appeared in the Canberra Times) ‘David Biles was a pioneer of criminology in Australia. Over many years he contributed to the development of

Click here for all items related to: ,

Blight, David: The Battle for Memorial Day in New Orleans

David Blight ‘The Battle for Memorial Day in New Orleans‘, The Atlantic, 29 May 2017 Examines the recent Memorial Day oration of Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, at a time when the former Confederate states of America are again

Click here for all items related to: , ,

Mendelssohn, Joanna: Defying Empire: the legacy of 1967

Joanna Mendelssohn ‘Defying Empire: the legacy of 1967‘, The Conversation, 26 May 2017 Review of National Gallery of Australia exhibition on till 10 September. ‘Curator Tina Baum has woven a narrative and an argument around the legacy of that remarkable

Click here for all items related to: ,

Lee, Nicole: Three charts on: Australia’s changing drug and alcohol habits

Nicole Lee ‘Three charts on: Australia’s changing drug and alcohol habits‘, The Conversation, 1 June 2017 updated Australians are using less alcohol, tobacco and other drugs than they did a decade ago, according to the Australian Institute of Health and

Click here for all items related to: ,

Three thought-provoking foreign and defence policy posts (no, actually four) on the Pearls and Irritations blog

Even when the times are out of joint, the Australian media is not good at looking intelligently at issues of foreign and defence policy. Stories that can be linked to striking pictures – of oddball leaders gloating over missile test

Click here for all items related to:

Broinowski, Alison: The Merkel moment: wherever that works

Alison Broinowski ‘The Merkel moment: wherever that works‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 May 2017 Chancellor Merkel’s remark that the United States is no longer reliable, and that Europe should look after itself, should also be a wake-up call for Australia.

Click here for all items related to: ,

Hudson, Marc: Who tilts at windmills? Explaining hostility to renewables

Marc Hudson ‘Who tilts at windmills? Explaining hostility to renewables‘, The Conversation, 29 May 2017 Looks at the history of why Australian policy makers have opposed solar and wind energy options. In a search for explanations for this, my paper

Click here for all items related to: ,

Head, Mike: Australia’s billionaires celebrate a “wealth boom”

Mike Head ‘Australia’s billionaires celebrate a “wealth boom”‘, World Socialist Web Site, 29 May 2017 Useful analysis of this year’s Australian Financial Review (AFR) Rich 200 List. The article nicely captures the breathless style of John Stensholt’s original piece (which

Click here for all items related to: ,

Robertson, Joshua: Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830 voyage unearthed

Joshua Robertson ‘Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830 voyage unearthed‘, Guardian Australia, 28 May 2017 An amateur historian [Nick Russell] has unearthed compelling evidence that the first Australian maritime foray into Japanese waters was by convict pirates on

Click here for all items related to: ,

Putting Reconciliation Week in context: Lest We Forget Queensland Genocide

Reconciliation Week runs annually from 27 May, the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, to 3 June, the anniversary of the Mabo decision in 1992. The theme for this year is ‘Let’s take the next steps’, which is appropriate, given the

Click here for all items related to: ,

Patience, Allan: Australia’s involvement in an “Anglosphere” is the delusion of a golden age that never existed

Allan Patience ‘Australia’s involvement in an “Anglosphere” is the delusion of a golden age that never existed‘, The Conversation, 24 May 2017 Post-Brexit, some in Britain are turning to a resurrected Commonwealth as the basis of an alternative to Europe.

Click here for all items related to: , ,
Loading...