Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”

David Stephens ‘Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Serendipity can be illuminating. This reviewer began to watch Chris Masters’ double DVD, Afghanistan: The Australian Story, on the

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Abjorensen, Norman: Whether elections matter is a complex and ambiguous issue – as a consideration of this quirky collection discloses

Norman Abjorensen* ‘Whether elections matter is a complex and ambiguous issue – as a consideration of this quirky collection discloses’, Honest History, 9 December 2018 Norman Abjorensen reviews Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia, edited by Benjamin T.

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Werskey, Gary: Warpaint: the making of Australian war art

Gary Werskey* ‘Warpaint: the making of Australian war art’, Honest History, 28 November 2018 Gary Werskey reviews Margaret Hutchison, Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme, by Margaret Hutchison I didn’t know until I read Margaret

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Richardson, Andrew: Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book

Andrew Richardson* ‘Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book’, Honest History, 27 November 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Jeff Grey: A Life in History, edited by Peter Stanley Like most (if not all) military historians based in

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Stephens, David: Out of the great Australian silence: Frank Byrne’s Stolen Generations story

David Stephens* ‘Out of the great Australian silence: Frank Byrne’s Stolen Generations story’, Honest History, 22 November 2018 David Stephens reviews Living in Hope, by Frank Byrne with Frances Coughlan and Gerard Waterford. The book is the winner of the Small

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Broinowski, Alison: Is Australia’s foreign and defence policy machinery broken beyond repair?

Alison Broinowski* ‘Is Australia’s foreign and defence policy machinery broken beyond repair?’ Honest History, 17 October 2018 Alison Broinowski reviews Clinton Fernandes, Island off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of Statecraft in Australian Foreign Policy Australia’s fundamental interests have endured

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Pender, Margaret: A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people

Margaret Pender* ‘A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people’, Honest History, 16 October 2018 Margaret Pender reviews The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

‘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 congratulated for

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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How wild rabbits shaped the wide brown land (review of Munday)

‘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 and acclimatized

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A gun that shoots right through history (review of Ouyang Yu on Billy Sing)

‘A gun that shoots right through history’, Honest History, 27 May 2017 Christina Spittel[*] reviews Ouyang Yu’s novel, Billy Sing Is there anything new to be said about Chinese-Australian sniper Billy Sing, who killed so many Turks at Gallipoli that

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High flying and capital crime between the wars: The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller (review of Baxter)

‘High flying and capital crime between the wars: The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Margaret Pender* reviews The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller, by Carol Baxter This is the story of Jessie ‘Chubbie’ Miller, the daughter of

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Word War One: how the law shaped the Anzac legend (review of Bond)

‘Word War One: how the law shaped the Anzac legend’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Jo Hawkins reviews Catherine Bond’s Anzac: The Landing, The Legend, The Law In the weeks leading up to the 2015 centenary of the Gallipoli landing,

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Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia

Michael Piggott* ‘Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Showing at the moment in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is an exhibition of work by the renowned World War

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Discovering the discovery of gold (review of Wilkie)

‘Discovering the discovery of gold’ (review of Wilkie), Honest History, 3 April 2017 Derek Abbott* reviews Duchene/Hargraves by Douglas Wilkie Generations of Australian school children are familiar from their history text books with the story of the discovery of gold

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Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens ‘Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 In September 2016, the War Memorial opened For Country, for Nation, an exhibition about Indigenous service in Australian defence forces from the Boer

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Turning the yellow South Australian hills green? Marian Quartly on a state of hope

‘Turning the yellow South Australian hills green? Marian Quartly on a state of hope’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 Marian Quartly* reviews Griffith Review 55: State of Hope Any collection of essays focussing on a single state of Australia will

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Into the heart of Tasmania with Mr Westlake (review of Taylor)

‘Into the heart of Tasmania with Mr Westlake’ (review of Taylor), Honest History, 21 March 2017 Tjanara Goreng Goreng* reviews Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search for Human Antiquity by Rebe Taylor We First Nations people have lived our

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Ninety years of midwives, mothers and babies in Sydney (review of Godden)

‘Ninety years of midwives, mothers and babies in Sydney’ (review of Godden), Honest History, 8 March 2017 John Myrtle* reviews Judith Godden’s Crown Street Women’s Hospital: A History, 1893-1983 Crown Street Women’s Hospital was deeply immersed in the life of

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Brooding malevolence in Rabaul 1942 (review of Townsend)

‘Brooding malevolence in Rabaul 1942’, Honest History, 7 March 2017 Margaret Pender* reviews Ian Townsend’s book, Line of Fire This is a book about an atrocity, a war crime that occurred in Rabaul, New Guinea, in the early days of

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Stephens, David: Review note: Leaders using and abusing power through the ages

David Stephens ‘Review note: Leaders using and abusing power through the ages’, Honest History, 23 February 2017 At a time when on-the-run psychological assessments of world leaders – and one leader in particular – are becoming routine news items, considered

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Centre of Sydney Town (review of O’Callaghan, Hogben & Freestone, eds)

‘Centre of Sydney Town’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 Grahame Crocket* reviews Sydney’s Martin Place: A Cultural and Design History, edited by Judith O’Callaghan, Paul Hogben and Robert Freestone Why Sydney’s Martin Place has not been the subject of earlier

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A personal view of war and peace (review of Sharon Bown)

‘A personal view of war and peace’ (review of Sharon Bown), Honest History, 7 February 2017 Pamela Burton* reviews One Woman’s War and Peace: A Nurse’s Journey in the Royal Australian Air Force by Sharon Bown This is an introspective

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Stephens, David & John Myrtle: Review notes: Geoffrey Bolton on Paul Hasluck

‘Review notes: Geoffrey Bolton on Paul Hasluck’, Honest History, 11 January 2017 This book (Paul Hasluck: A Life) was published in 2014 and its author, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Bolton, has since died. The book deserves recognition after this lapse of

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Shield, John: Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent (review of McDonald with Brune)

‘Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent‘, Honest History, 12 January 2017 John Shield* reviews Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent, by Neil McDonald with Peter Brune There is a lovely sequence in

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Silent Centenary: Australian voices questioning the war of 1914-18

Our regular correspondent, singer-songwriter, Tony Smith, has sent us a CD wrangled by himself and musical and poetical colleagues. It is called ‘Silent Centenary: Australian voices questioning the war of 1914-18’. It includes a mixture of sung songs, recited poems,

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Stanley, Peter: Review of The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors at the Australian War Memorial

Peter Stanley* ‘Review of The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 The opening late last month of a new permanent display at the Australian War Memorial, The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors, is

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Gainsborough, Vance: The animals and advertisements of Canberra: review of two new exhibitions

Vance Gainsborough* ‘The animals and advertisements of Canberra: review of two new exhibitions’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 The Popular Pet Show, National Portrait Gallery This exhibition has around 160 works by 15 artists, is open until March, and adults

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Settling for less (review of Scates and Oppenheimer)

‘Settling for less’ (review of Scates and Oppenheimer), Honest History, 13 December 2016 Michael Piggott* reviews The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939 by Bruce Scates and Melanie Oppenheimer At last the book is out. Its official genesis dates

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What Honest History read and reviewed during 2016: a round-up of book reviews (and reviewers)

‘What Honest History read and reviewed during 2016: a round-up of book reviews (and reviewers)’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 The Honest History team gets to read a lot of books during a year and we are getting more and

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Myrtle, John: Review note: Antipodes: In Search of the Southern Continent by Avan Judd Stallard

John Myrtle* ‘Review note: Antipodes: In Search of the Southern Continent by Avan Judd Stallard’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 According to the Macquarie Dictionary, Terra Australia Incognita was the mass of land stretching across much of the south of

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At war with the Braithwaites (review of Braithwaite, Fighting Monsters)

‘At war with the Braithwaites’, Honest History, 23 November 2016 Peter Stanley reviews Richard Wallace Braithwaite, Fighting Monsters: An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy Around the end of the 1960s the twenty-year-old Richard Braithwaite, then a university student, wore

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New views from a little way beyond Gallipoli (review of Scates & Frances ed., Beyond Gallipoli)

‘New views from a little way beyond Gallipoli’, Honest History, 21 November 2016 David Stephens reviews Beyond Gallipoli: New Perspectives on Anzac, edited by Raelene Frances and Bruce Scates This book is a collection of 15 papers (plus introduction) from

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The Conscription Conflict and the Great War (review of Archer, Damousi, et al)

‘The Conscription Conflict and the Great War’ (review of Archer, Damousi, et al), Honest History, 16 November 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, edited by Robin Archer, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot and Sean Scalmer. See

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Myrtle, John: Review note: Great Australian Journeys by Graham Seal

Myrtle, John* ‘Review note: Great Australian Journeys by Graham Seal’, Honest History, 8 November 2016 Graham Seal, Professor of Folklore at Curtin University, is a well-published author of popular works on Australian history. His latest book is Great Australian Journeys:

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Finding sanity: John Cade, lithium and the taming of bipolar disorder (review of De Moore and Westmore)

‘Finding sanity: John Cade, lithium and the taming of bipolar disorder’ (review of De Moore and Westmore), Honest History, 3 November 2016 Janet Wilson* reviews a new book by Greg de Moore and Ann Westmore John Frederick Joseph Cade was

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Piggott, Michael: Peace, love and world war: the Denmans, Empire and Australia, 1910–1917: a review of a Canberra exhibition

Michael Piggott* ‘”Peace, love and world war: the Denmans, Empire and Australia, 1910–1917″: a review of a Canberra exhibition’, Honest History, 1 November 2016 Note: The exhibition concludes on 13 November 2016 First, an admission. Actually, two. As a rule,

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An anthropologist, an historian and his historians: Diane Bell on Tom Griffiths

‘An anthropologist, an historian and his historians: Diane Bell on Tom Griffiths’, Honest History, 26 October 2016 Diane Bell* reviews Tom Griffiths, The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft Who is your favourite Australian historian? Why? In 14

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The Silk Roads to everywhere (review of Frankopan)

‘The Silk Roads to everywhere’, Honest History, 21 October 2016 Derek Abbott reviews Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World ‘Europe is but a molehill, all the great reputations have come from Asia’ (Napoleon Bonaparte, 1797).

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Broinowski, Alison: Review note: Homeground in Sydney

Alison Broinowski ‘Review note: Homeground in Sydney’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 Marking the 60th anniversary of the Maralinga nuclear tests, Sydney displayed several First Nations events over the weekend of 8-9 October. In the forecourt of the Opera House

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Atomic Thunder: 60 years on from Maralinga (review of Tynan)

‘Atomic Thunder: 60 years on from Maralinga’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 Richard Broinowski* reviews Elizabeth Tynan’s Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story. David Pope’s cartoon of the 60th anniversary of Maralinga (Fairfax, 3 October 2016) shows Prime Minister Robert Menzies

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Broinowski, Alison: Your laptop is watching you: Snowden the movie – review note

Broinowski, Alison* ‘Your laptop is watching you: Snowden the movie – review note’, Honest History, 26 September 2016 Before Snowden comes on, there’s a short film of Oliver Stone, the director, warning cinema audiences that they can be surveilled, so

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Federated Australia’s first champion (review of Haigh on Trumper)

‘Federated Australia’s first champion’ (review of Haigh on Trumper), Honest History, 25 September 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews Gideon Haigh’s book, Stroke of Genius: Victor Trumper and the Shot that Changed Cricket (2016) Muhammad Ali, young, brash and confident, mouth agape

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Paul Brickhill: chronicler of bombers, busters and a great escape (review of Dando-Collins biography)

‘Paul Brickhill: chronicler of bombers, busters and a great escape’ (review of Dando-Collins biography), Honest History, 22 September 2016 John Myrtle* reviews The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill by Stephen Dando-Collins In the 1950s Australian-born Paul Brickhill wrote

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Stephens, David: Review note: Howard on Menzies rolls out on the ABC

David Stephens ‘Review note: Howard on Menzies rolls out on the ABC’, Honest History, 18 September 2016 updated So much is available about this two-part ABC doco that we won’t attempt more than some random thoughts which we’ll update after

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Fighting against the tide? (review of Martin Woods on World War I maps)

‘Fighting against the tide?’ (review of Martin Woods on World War I maps), Honest History, 15 September 2016 Peter Stanley reviews Martin Woods, Where are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War The National Library of Australia, uniquely now

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Broinowski, Alison: Review note: What was all that about? Abe Forsythe’s Down Under

Broinowski, Alison ‘Review note: What was all that about? Abe Forsythe’s Down Under’, Honest History, 12 September 2016 A longer version of this article, taking up more general issues to do with Afghanistan, is here on Pearls and Irritations. A

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Disappointing take on an interesting man (review of Baker on Phillip Schuler)

‘Disappointing take on an interesting man’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 Kristen Alexander* reviews Mark Baker’s Phillip Schuler: The Remarkable Life of One of Australia’s Greatest War Correspondents Phillip Schuler was a journalist working at Melbourne’s Age newspaper when the

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Many codes, many circuses, much money: Griffith Review 53: Our sporting life

‘Many codes, many circuses, much money: Griffith Review 53: “Our sporting life”’, Honest History, 9 August 2016 A review by Derek Abbott* of the latest Griffith Review, published 1 August 2016. Griffith Review always presents a collection of writings that

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Charles Bean’s legacy: UNSW Canberra conference, July 2016

Michael Piggott ‘”Charles Bean’s legacy”: UNSW Canberra conference, July 2016’, Honest History, 2 August 2016 For once in considering a conference, the curate’s egg judgment ‘good in parts’ doesn’t apply, though this conference did have parts and it was hosted

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Review note: Maggie’s Kitchen can be read between courses

‘Review note: Maggie’s Kitchen can be read between courses’, Honest History, 27 July 2016 Gentle Reader* reviews a war book that mixes fiction and fact. Maggie’s Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is technically fiction but it manages to weave in a

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Macedonians in Constantinople, drones over Gaba Tepe (review of Turna)

‘Macedonians in Constantinople, drones over Gaba Tepe’, Honest History, 19 July 2016 Peter Stanley reviews Burak Turna’s The Hidden Victory of Anzacs: Gallipoli. Imagine a world in which all historical sources, archival and published, on World War I have been

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Australia’s no-go zones: Rachel Landers’ Who Bombed the Hilton?

‘Australia’s no-go zones: Rachel Landers’ Who Bombed the Hilton?’ Honest History, 19 July 2016 Alison Broinowski reviews Rachel Landers’ book Who Bombed the Hilton? We are not suddenly making the world uninhabitable all at once. Instead, the world is creating

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Review note: Meanjin short of funds but maintains high quality

‘Review note: Meanjin short of funds but maintains high quality’, Honest History, 17 June 2016 Meanjin Quarterly has been around since 1940 but now it is struggling for funds as the Australia Council cuts its cloth to fit reduced funding

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Our Vietnam nurses’ stories should have been told before this (review of Brayley)

‘Our Vietnam nurses’ stories should have been told before this’ (review of Brayley), Honest History, 15 June 2016 Pamela Burton reviews Annabelle Brayley’s Our Vietnam Nurses. It is refreshing to read stories of heroism by those who travel to war

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A quick skim through some subscription journals: review note

‘Review note: a quick skim through some subscription journals’, Honest History, 7 June 2016 updated Update 18 June 2016: Nicholas Farrelly and James Giggacher write in the Canberra Times about the history of their highly successful academic blog, New Mandala,

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For love of country in war and peace (review of Anthony Hill)

‘For love of country in war and peace’ (review of Anthony Hill), Honest History, 7 June 2016 Gentle Reader reviews Anthony Hill’s For Love of Country. This book is described on the cover as ‘a true Australian family story of

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Who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? (review of Babkenian and Stanley)

‘Who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’ (review of Babkenian and Stanley), Honest History, 19 May 2016 Gareth Knapman reviews Armenia, Australia and the Great War by Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley ‘Who, after all, speaks today of

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Douglas Newton confronts the really important questions about war

‘Douglas Newton confronts the really important questions about war’, Honest History, 16 May 2016 David Stephens reviews five articles by Douglas Newton that take us ‘behind the scenes’ in the Great War. The piece also appears in John Menadue’s blog,

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Commonwealth Budget 2016 and the size and direction of government

‘Commonwealth Budget 2016 and the size and direction of government’, Honest History, 5 May 2016 updated There has been lots of Budget analysis. Honest History wishes only to note the specifically commemorative elements and pick out some other aspects that

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Review note: Griffith Review 52 ‘Imagining the future’

‘Review note: Griffith Review 52 ‘Imagining the future’’, Honest History, 2 May 2016 updated This quick look at Griffith Review 52 ‘Imagining the future’ is more of an alert than a review. It is difficult to keep up with the

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Orthodoxy at the top (review of Henry’s The Gatekeepers)

‘Orthodoxy at the top’ (review of Henry’s The Gatekeepers), Honest History, 26 April 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The Gatekeepers of Australian Foreign Policy 1950-1966 by Adam Hughes Henry Examinations of the ‘culture’ of institutions, industries and sectors of society are

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Anzac Day then and now – and probably for the future (review of Frame anthology)

‘Anzac Day then and now – and probably for the future’ (review of Frame anthology), Honest History, 26 April 2016 Paddy Gourley reviews Anzac Day: Then & Now, edited by Tom Frame. This book has been produced by the Australian

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Review note: a reasonably flexible Anzac Day package from DVA for little kids

‘Review note: a reasonably flexible Anzac Day package from DVA for little kids’, Honest History, 26 April 2016 Honest History has often been critical of the products the official commemoration industry puts in front of children. We thought the prize-winning

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Review note: Kristen Alexander’s Taking Flight (Lores Bonney)

‘Review note: Taking Flight: Lores Bonney’s Extraordinary Flying Career‘, Honest History, 31 March 2016 It is rare that the word ‘extraordinary’ is justified in the writing of biography. Intrinsic to the craft are stories worth telling, lives less ordinary. In

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Review note: Certain Admissions by Gideon Haigh is a very Melbourne story

‘Review note: Certain Admissions by Gideon Haigh is a very Melbourne story’, Honest History, 24 March 2016 Update 30 August 2016: the book won the Ned Kelly award for 2016. This is a gripping ‘true crime’ story by a prolific

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Review note: UK-based Gallipoli 100 has useful resources for schools

‘Review note: UK-based Gallipoli 100 has useful resources for schools‘, Honest History, 17 March 2016 Gallipoli 100 is based in the United Kingdom and has put together some useful resources related to … yes, Gallipoli. The site includes information about

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Edwell, Penny: Review note: First World War Commemoration and Memory Conference, IWM North

Penny Edwell* ‘Review note: First World War Commemoration and Memory Conference, IWM North’, Honest History, 17 March 2016 Organised by the Imperial War Museum North Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers Network (FWW Network), the First World War: Commemoration and Memory

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After the Fall: Singapore conference on World War I (review of Walsh and Varnava)

‘After the Fall: Singapore conference on World War I’, Honest History, 15 March 2016 updated David Stephens reviews Australia and the Great War: Identity, Memory and Mythology, edited by Michael JK Walsh and Andrekos Varnava Conference papers that wait too

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Half the world away at home (review of Connor, Stanley & Yule)

‘Half the world away at home’ (review of Connor, Stanley & Yule), Honest History, 15 March 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The War at Home: The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Volume 4, by John Connor, Peter Stanley

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Review note: Remembering Ben Chifley by Suzanne Martin: well meant but flawed

‘Review note: Remembering Ben Chifley by Suzanne Martin: well meant but flawed’, Honest History, 5 March 2016 This is a well meant but flawed book about one of our most attractive prime ministers. The author is Chifley’s great-niece, her sisters

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Sex, soldiers and the South Pacific (review of Smaal)

‘Sex, soldiers and the South Pacific (review of Smaal)’, Honest History, 8 February 2016 Diane Bell* reviews Yorick Smaal’s Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939-45: Queer Identities in Australia in the Second World War Note: The cover of the

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Review note: Stephens and Seal’s Remembering the Wars

‘Review note: Stephens and Seal’s Remembering the Wars: Commemoration in Western Australian Communities‘, Honest History, 6 February 2016 Anyone who’s spent time in country Australia will have noticed the centrality of a war memorial to nearly every community. Recently, memorials

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It’s a system, dammit, not a horse-race (review of Griffith Review 51)

‘It’s a system, dammit, not a horse-race’ (review of Griffith Review 51), Honest History, 2 February 2016 David Stephens reviews Griffith Review 51, ‘Fixing the system’, edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan  Once upon a time gentlemen who made

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The Fitzkrieg reaches Fromelles and Pozières (review of FitzSimons)

‘The Fitzkrieg reaches Fromelles and Pozières’, Honest History, 11 January 2016 David Stephens reviews Peter FitzSimons’ Fromelles and Pozières: In the Trenches of Hell. This is a better book than this reviewer expected. He edited a trenchant but balanced review

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Honest History Christmas miscellany 2015: lots to read and ponder

‘Honest History Christmas miscellany 2015: lots to read and ponder’, Honest History, 20 December 2015 Christmas often brings a reckoning and it is the same in our compact little enterprise. We would have loved to have afforded some of the

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Review note: where are all the war books this Anzac centenary Christmas?

‘Review note: where are all the war books this Anzac centenary Christmas?’ Honest History, 13 December 2015 Any bookshop these days seems to include a lot of military history books. The present reviewer is duty bound (as a website wrangler)

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What is history? (review of Scates et al)

‘What is history? An old question; a new answer?’ Honest History, 1 December 2015 Jim Windeyer* reviews World War One: A History in 100 Stories by Bruce Scates, Rebecca Wheatley and Laura James. Another review by David Stephens. Jim Windeyer

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Subversive stories of an old war (review of Scates et al)

‘Subversive stories of an old war’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 David Stephens reviews World War One: A History in 100 Stories, by Bruce Scates, Rebecca Wheatley and Laura James. Another review by Jim Windeyer. __________________________________ This book is sentimental

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The eighties in nine chapters (review of Bongiorno)

‘The eighties in nine chapters’ (review of Bongiorno), Honest History, 1 December 2015 Janet Wilson* reviews The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia by Frank Bongiorno __________________________ Among the words and phrases that entered the lexicon in the 1980s are

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Bell, Diane: Miles Franklin and the Serbs still matter: a review essay

Diane Bell* ‘Miles Franklin and the Serbs still matter: a review essay’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 [Publication details of the work reviewed: Vladiv-Glover, Slobodanka. (Editor). (2014). ‘Writings from the Balkan Theatre of War by Miles Franklin (Extracted from the Archives

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Fitting POWs into our skewed Anzac legend (review of Beyond Surrender)

‘Fitting POWs into our skewed Anzac legend’ (review of Beyond Surrender), Honest History, 25 November 2015 Kristen Alexander* reviews Beyond Surrender: Australian Prisoners of War in the Twentieth Century, edited by Joan Beaumont, Lachlan Grant and Aaron Pegram _____________________ As

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A history man’s view of war (review of Tognolini)

‘A history man’s view of war’, Honest History, 18 November 2015 Derek Abbott* reviews A History Man’s Past & Other People’s Stories: A Shared Memoir. Part One: Other People’s Wars and Brothers, Part One: Gallipoli 1915, both by John Tognolini.

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Parting not such sweet sorrow (review of Abjorensen)

‘Parting not such sweet sorrow’, Honest History, 4 November 2015 Michael Piggott reviews Norman Abjorensen’s The Manner of Their Going: Prime Ministerial Exits from Lyne to Abbott I was in a bus on a group tour in Turkey when the news

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Red professor in a cold war

‘Red professor in a cold war’ (review of Monteath and Munt), Honest History, 28 October 2015 John Moses* reviews Red Professor: the Cold War Life of Fred Rose, by Peter Monteath and Valerie Munt In an extensively researched work, lucidly

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Into the crucible (review of McKinney)

‘Into the crucible’ (review of McKinney), Honest History, 20 October 2015 Christina Spittel reviews JP McKinney’s Crucible, republished in 2012 after 77 years ‘It is curious’, writes Rodney Hall in the Australian Book Review, ‘that the Great War (generally credited

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Trans-Tasman youth production asks important questions about Anzac

‘Trans-Tasman youth production asks important questions about Anzac’, Honest History, 15 October 2015 David Stephens reviews Dead Men’s Wars by Ralph McCubbin Howell, presented by Canberra Youth Theatre (Australia) and Long Cloud Youth Theatre (New Zealand)  Like another co-production a

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Watching the neighbours (review of Wesley)

‘Watching the neighbours’ (review of Wesley), Honest History, 13 October 2015 Derek Abbott* reviews Michael Wesley’s Restless Continent: Wealth, Rivalry and Asia’s New Geopolitics Robert Burns enjoined us to see ourselves as others see us; Michael Wesley would also have

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‘After all these years’: Wilfred Burchett highlights reel

‘After all these years: Wilfred Burchett highlights reel’, Honest History, 30 September 2015 Wilfred Burchett shouldered his way back into Honest History’s consideration recently, first, when we revived his justly famous article about Hiroshima and, secondly, when we were pointed

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Review note: commemoration theme sits lightly on an old Canberra perennial

‘Review note: commemoration theme sits lightly on an old Canberra perennial’, Honest History, 22 September 2015 When an event has been going for 27 years it will be looking for new twists. Canberra’s venerable Floriade spring festival has done night-time

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St Mark’s remembers Anzac Day

‘St Mark’s remembers Anzac Day’, Honest History, 19 September 2015 Doug Hynd reviews the April 2015 issue of St Mark’s Review __________________________ This thematic issue ‘St Mark’s remembers’ on ‘remembering Anzac Day’ is, in the best sense of the term,

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Less twaddling by the lake: three Canberra art exhibitions

David Stephens ‘Less twaddling by the lake: three art exhibitions in Canberra’, Honest History, 16 September 2015 The three exhibitions covered in this review offer a multi-hued picture of parts of our history. The first show, Reality in flames, has

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Echevarria’s trouble with (military) history: highlights reel

‘Echevarria’s trouble with (military) history: highlights reel’, Honest History, 12 September 2015 This post offers highlights from an article that is at once a decade old and more broadly relevant than just to the teaching of military history. Antulio J.

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Last orders, Mr James (review of Clive James’ Latest Readings)

‘Last orders, Mr James’, Honest History, 1 September 2015 Paddy Gourley* reviews Clive James, Latest Readings If Clive James had written nothing other than his book Cultural Amnesia he would have secured a prominent place in Australian letters. It’s a

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Finding a thing to wear during World War II (review of Julie Summers)

‘Finding a thing to wear during World War II’, Honest History, 1 September 2015 Janet Wilson* reviews Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War by Julie Summers This book accompanied an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum

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Redressing historical inadequacies? review of two books on two wars

‘Redressing historical inadequacies?’ Honest History, 1 September 2015 Derek Abbott* reviews Serbia in the Great War 1914-1918, by Mira Radojevic and Ljubodrag Dimic, and Fighting on All Fronts: Popular Resistance in the Second World War, edited by Donny Gluckstein. These

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Review note: Stuart Macintyre’s Australia’s Boldest Experiment

‘Review note: Stuart Macintyre’s Australia’s Boldest Experiment‘, Honest History, 19 August 2015 updated World War I is far enough back for spruikers of a particular view of it to extract bits selectively from, say, the ambivalent Charles Bean and impress

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Çanakkale Gallipoli conference reflections 2015

Peter Stanley ‘Headphones, genocide and Fanta: reflections on the Çanakkale Gallipoli conference’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 ‘International’ conferences are often hard work, hard to organise, hard to fund, hard to run and hard to attend, especially as an ‘international’

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War Census 1915 (Part II)

‘The War Census of 1915: Honest History highlights reel (Part II)’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 War worries are added to by the census, which probes into the pockets and the soul of every citizen, asking him in plain print

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ANZUS-China miscellany

‘ANZUS-China miscellany’, Honest History, 17 July 2015 Update 18 July 2015: Chinese Ambassador Ma attempts to reassure Australia about China’s benign intentions. _____________________________ Recently Honest History collected some material on China-Japan-Australia-US relations and ran it under the heading ‘Spratlyswatch’. While

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Review note: Australia and the First World War (Australian Historical Studies)

‘Review note: AHS Classics virtual issue “Australia and the First World War” (Australian Historical Studies)’, Honest History, 12 July 2015 This virtual issue ‘reprints’ seven articles with an introductory essay from Bart Ziino. They are all free access until end

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Deluge: Great War and remaking global order

‘Deluge: Great War and remaking global order’, Honest History, 7 July 2015 Adam Tooze’s book is reviewed by Derek Abbott* ________________ The causes of World War I are the source of seemingly endless debate. From Prussian military hubris or German

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Review note: WWI in Australia (Journal of Australian Studies)

‘Review note: World War I in Australia (Journal of Australian Studies, virtual special issue, April 2015)’, Honest History, 7 July 2015 We recently noted difficulties of access with some online journals. This issue of the Journal of Australian Studies, published

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Review note: Penleigh Boyd’s Salvage

‘Review note: Penleigh Boyd’s Salvage – sketching and writing on the Western Front’, Honest History, 7 July 2015 Theodore Penleigh Boyd (1890-1923) was a landscape artist and member of the multi-talented Boyd family. The Wikipedia entry is also useful. Bridge

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War Census 1915 (Part I)

‘The War Census of 1915: Honest History highlights reel (Part I)’, Honest History, 7 July 2015 Some historians and observers say that Gallipoli saw the birth of the Australian nation as men flocked to the colours. Others argue that the

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Sheralyn Rose responds to Honest History

‘Sheralyn Rose responds to Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 18 June 2015 Dr Sheralyn Rose, the wife of a Vietnam veteran, has responded to our highlights reel on Vietnam mythbusting. Rather than ask her to provide this material as

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No-go zones: review of James Curran’s Unholy Fury

‘No-go zones: review of James Curran’s Unholy Fury’, Honest History, 15 June 2015 Alison Broinowski reviews James Curran, Unholy Fury: Whitlam and Nixon at War Has anyone else noticed that the world has a growing number of places that are

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Vietnam Veterans’ Federation responds to Honest History

‘Vietnam Veterans’ Federation responds to Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 12 June 2015 The Vietnam Veterans’ Federation through its national research officer, Graham Walker, has responded to our highlights reel on Vietnam mythbusting. Rather than ask Graham Walker to

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Moyal, Ann: Alan Moorehead’s Gallipoli

Ann Moyal ‘Alan Moorehead’s Gallipoli’, Honest History, 9 June 2015 Recalling an Anzac classic, first published in 1956. There have been at least some 70 books by individual authors published under the title Gallipoli in the century since. From the

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Mythbusting about Vietnam: highlights reel

‘Mythbusting about Australians returned from Vietnam: Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 9 June 2015 updated UPDATE 14 July 2015: further volume planned on medical aspects of Vietnam War service. Comment by Alison Broinowski. UPDATE 18 June 2015: Dr Sheralyn

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Review note: accessing three special editions

‘Review note: accessing three special editions’, Honest History, 9 June 2015 The title of this note is chosen deliberately: while, like any review, this one will do some assessing it is also concerned with accessing – with how the reader

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War dances and real wars: Honest History First Peoples miscellany

‘War dances and real wars: Honest History First Peoples miscellany’, Honest History, 7 June 2015 Update 8 June 2015: Helen Davidson writes about Wayne Quilliam’s photographs of and interviews with the women of Indigenous Australia. Quilliam’s exhibition opens at UN

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Still the good book? (review of AN Wilson)

‘Still the good book?’ Honest History, 27 May 2015 David Stephens reviews AN Wilson’s The Book of the People: How to Read the Bible My grandmother was 96 when she died. Her eulogy mentioned that she had read her Bible

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Their centenary country: Honest History First Peoples miscellany

‘Their centenary country: Honest History First Peoples miscellany’, Honest History, 20 May 2015 and updated (Note: this article contains references to Indigenous people who have died.) Updates: More from Frank Brennan. A further article from Nolan Hunter on recognition. Roslyn

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Honest History miscellany: yet more angles on Anzac 100

‘Honest History miscellany: yet more angles on Anzac 100’, Honest History, 17 May 2015 This is our third and final round-up of centenary-related items that came to our attention around Anzac Day 2015, although some of them have been around

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La nef des fous: review of Dunbar’s Secrets of the Anzacs

‘La nef des fous: review of Dunbar’s Secrets of the Anzacs‘, Honest History, 12 May 2015 Diane Bell* reviews Raden Dunbar, The Secrets of the ANZACS: the Untold Story of Venereal Disease in the Australian Army, 1914-1919. (La nef des

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Gamut of emotions: the Home Front at the National Museum

‘Gamut of emotions: the Home Front at the National Museum’, Honest History, 12 May 2015 Michael Piggott reviews the National Museum of Australia’s exhibition, The Home Front. Here’s a challenge to think about over the next ten minutes. If you

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War in the long run

‘War in the long run’, Honest History, 12 May 2015 Derek Abbott* reviews William Philpott’s Attrition: Fighting the First World War The historiography of World War I is a bitterly contested area: a necessary war to defeat Prussian militarism; a

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This Testament not silly at all

‘This Testament not silly at all’, Honest History, 3 May 2015 David Stephens reviews Testament of Youth, the movie adaptation of Vera Brittain‘s memoir Peter Stanley’s review of the Russell Crowe Great War movie, The Water Diviner, has been viewed

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Honest History miscellany: more angles on Anzac 100

Update 1 May 2015: Last posts? On the Mcintyre case, Gillian Triggs in Fairfax noted the limited mileage in free speech arguments, given Australia’s current legal arrangements. Anticipating some of Mcintyre’s remarks, Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson had his thoughtful

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Sentiment, thought and jingoism in war commemoration

We ran this post as a ‘highlights reel‘ back in September and we have quoted it a number of times since. It says such profound things about commemoration we thought it was worth running again at a time which Minister

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Honest History miscellany: angles on Anzac 100

So much stuff; so little time. Rather than try to recognise and categorise everything that’s whizzed past in the last couple of days, we’ve just grabbed a handful, as follows, before we settle down to take in Kate Aubusson’s Lest

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Honest History list: Armenian genocide

UPDATE 29 July 2015: Ashley Kalagian Blunt writes about coming to terms with the genocide in Canada and Australia. UPDATE 18 June 2015: Nikki Marczak writes on how what is happening today in the Middle East repeats many historical events

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Investing our legacies

‘Investing our legacies’, Honest History, 16 April 2015 David Stephens reviews Griffith Review 48, ‘Enduring legacies’, edited by Julianne Schultz and Peter Cochrane The title of this excellent collection is, at one level, obvious but, at another, full of possibilities.

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Then and now: two sad affairs

Then and now: two sad affairs, Honest History, 15 April 2015 Alison Broinowski reviews the Four Corners episode, ‘Anzac to Afghanistan‘ Fran Kelly is off to join the re-invasion at Gallipoli next week. So the count-down begins and pent-up excitement

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Anzac Labour reviewed

‘Anzac Labour reviewed’, Honest History, 14 April 2014 Paddy Gourley reviews Nathan Wise’s book Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War If most books about the military in war concentrate on the description

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Small but powerful: two Canberra Great War exhibitions

‘Small but powerful: two Canberra Great War exhibitions’, Honest History, 13 April 2015 David Stephens reviews All That Fall at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, and When Hall Answered the Call at the Hall School Museum, Hall, A.C.T. You only

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Gallipoli 1915: a century on – conference report

Peter Stanley ‘Gallipoli 1915: a century on – conference report’, Honest History, 14 April 2015 Those interested in Gallipoli had been anticipating the conference convened jointly by the Australian National University and the Australian War Memorial and held in Canberra

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Medical women at war: Not for Glory reviewed

‘Medical women in war’, Honest History, 14 April 2015 Carolyn Holbrook reviews Susan J. Neuhaus and Sharon Mascall-Dare, Not for Glory: a Century of Service by Medical Women to the Australian Army and its Allies When Dr Agnes Bennett tried

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Is David Horner’s official history of ASIO ‘honest history’?

‘Is David Horner’s official history of ASIO “honest history”? Was Colonel Spry a traitor?’, Honest History, 14 April 2015 Ernst Willheim discusses The Spy Catchers: the Official History of ASIO, 1949-1963, by David Horner . The article was originally an

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Honest History list: boozing cricketers/boozing Anzac

Australian cricketers’ booze-soaked celebrations (here, here) after winning the World Cup provoked some commentary. Michael Thorn, chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, noted not only the focus on alcohol-fuelled celebration by team members and by commentator and

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Honest History list: Alan Seymour

Alan Seymour, author of The One Day of the Year, has died at the age of 87, more than five decades after his play asked important questions about Australians’ attitude to Anzac Day. While a new production was playing at

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Honest History list: taking pictures

There have been a few interesting items recently on photography and things on screens so we cobbled together this list along with a few things that were on the site already. It’s the sort of thing we do at Honest

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Great War navy

‘Great War navy’, Honest History, 27 March 2015 Alan Stephens* reviews In All Respects Ready: Australia’s Navy in World War One, by David Stevens Late last year Australia embarked on an extraordinarily extensive and costly five-year commemoration of ‘100 Years

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Honest History list: resources on Malcolm Fraser

Australia’s 22nd prime minister, John Malcolm Fraser, has died at the age of 84. Robert Manne interviewed Fraser last year. Honest History committee member, Alison Broinowski, reviewed his book Dangerous Allies (other resources at this link also). Another review by

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Australia comes in little cheerful chunks

‘Australia comes in little cheerful chunks’, Honest History, 11 March 2015 David Stephens reviews Australia: the Story of Us (Channel 7), episodes 1-4 Australia: the Story of Us (ASU hereafter) is a franchise owned by an American firm called Nutopia.

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Gallipoli episodes 6 and 7 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Generations passing away*’, Honest History, 10 March 2015 Peter Stanley** reviews Gallipoli (Channel 9) episodes 6 and 7. Earlier reviews: episode 1, episode 2; episode 3; episode 4 and 5. (Caution: this review contains minor spoilers, notably that the Australians

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Can we bear Anzac Ted?

‘Can we bear Anzac Ted? A review’, Honest History, 8 March 2015 Peter Stanley* reviews Anzac Ted by Belinda Landsberry At what age do we feel able to introduce our children to the idea and the reality of war and

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Gallipoli episodes 4 and 5 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Scars breaking out on the Peninsh*’, Honest History, 5 March 2015 Peter Stanley** reviews episodes 4 and 5 of Gallipoli (Channel 9). Reviews of episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episodes 6 and 7. Channel 9’s decision to ‘raise the

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Is this ‘our story’? AWM’s refurbished WWI galleries

‘Is this “our story”? Another look at the Australian War Memorial’s refurbished World War I galleries’, Honest History, 3 March 2015 David Stephens takes a further look at the new galleries. There are launches and launches. The Australian War Memorial

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Review note: ‘These are our stories’ – Defining Moments at NMA

‘Review note: “These are our stories” – Defining Moments at the National Museum of Australia’, Honest History, 3 March 2015 Cultural institutions tell stories. At the entrance to the National Museum of Australia, on its promontory on Canberra’s Lake Burley

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Words in the trenches: Anzac slang reviewed

‘Words in the trenches: Anzac slang reviewed’, Honest History, 3 March 2015 Paul Daley, author and journalist with Guardian Australia, reviews Furphies and Whizz-bangs: Anzac Slang from the Great War, by Amanda Laugesen ‘Mate, I’m tellin’ yer the point blank

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Gallipoli episode 3 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Men alone at the Dardanelles’, Honest History, 24 February 2015 Peter Stanley* reviews episode 3 of Gallipoli (Channel 9), ‘A man alone’. Other episodes reviewed: episode 1; episode 2; episodes 4 and 5; episodes 6 and 7. Episode 3 of

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Gallipoli episode 2 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Settling in for the long haul at Gallipoli’, Honest History, 22 February 2015 Peter Stanley* reviews episode 2 of Gallipoli (Channel 9), ‘My friend, the enemy’. Episode 1 reviewed. Episode 3. Episodes 4 and 5. Episodes 6 and 7. The

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Russian Revolution, world history and Australia

‘The Russian Revolution, world history and Australia’, Honest History, 18 February 2015 David Stephens reviews David North’s The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century (and notes the same author’s In Defense of Leon Trotsky) Elsewhere on this website historians

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Gallipoli episode 1 reviewed by Peter Stanley

‘Good in parts at Gallipoli’, Honest History, 12 February 2015 Peter Stanley* reviews Gallipoli (Channel 9), Episode 1, ‘The First Day’. Episode 2 reviewed. Episode 3. Episodes 4 and 5. Episodes 6 and 7. Channel 9’s mini-series Gallipoli is trumpeted

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Two views of World War I: War Memorial and National Library

‘Two views of World War I: sight-bites and Keepsakes‘, Honest History, 3 February 2015 David Stephens reviews the refurbished World War I galleries at the Australian War Memorial and the Keepsakes exhibition at the National Library of Australia. (A further

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Peter FitzSimons’ Gallipoli reviewed

‘Over the top with Fitz’, Honest History, 3 February 2015 Michael Piggott reviews Gallipoli by Peter Fitzsimons In opening his April 2013 review of Chris Roberts’ The Landing at Anzac, 1915, Harvey Broadbent said this: The Gallipoli industry moves inexorably

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Chris Walsh’s Cowardice reviewed

‘”Manning-up” in America the Brave: Chris Walsh’s Cowardice reviewed’, Honest History, 3 February 2015 Diane Bell* reviews Cowardice: A Brief History by Chris Walsh Too afraid to finish a book on cowardice? Sounds Pythonesque, but in an article on ‘intellectual

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Newton’s Hell-Bent reviewed

Rod Olsen reviews Douglas Newton’s Hell-Bent: Australia’s Leap into the Great War ‘War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.’ (Clausewitz) ‘War is unlike life … It’s a denial of everything you learn life

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Review note: historiography miscellany

‘Review note: historiography miscellany’, Honest History, 21 January 2015 Herodotus Reaching back more than 2400 years to one of the founders of the discipline seems a good place to start. Herodotus, a Greek born in modern day Turkey, penned his

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Highlights reel: James Fallows on US military has Australian relevance

‘Highlights reel: James Fallows on “The tragedy of the American military”‘, Honest History, 14 January 2015 This long article in The Atlantic, January-February 2015, examines American attitudes to the military but makes points applicable to Australia, given the long-running change

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Highlights reel: patriotic poems from Perth

‘Highlights reel: popular poems from Perth’, Honest History, 24 December 2014 Edwin Greenslade Murphy (1866-1939), known as ‘Dryblower’, was a popular poet regularly featured in the Perth Sunday Times during the Great War. He seems to have written hundreds or

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NAIDOC Week 2014: Trojan Horse or diversion?

This post replaces an earlier collection of material related to NAIDOC. The original post was unable to be updated for technical reasons, so we have created a new section (with a new title) where we intend to place related material

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The new normal: Frank Moorhouse reviewed

‘The new normal’, Honest History, 2 December 2014 Alison Broinowski reviews Frank Moorhouse’s Australia under Surveillance I wish I still had that very old Disney comic that showed ducks in raincoats on a beach, hiding one behind the other under

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Anzac Day media style guide: Honest History Factsheet

All public occasions develop their own style and pitch (and Anzac Day is no exception) but perhaps we had not thought that Anzac Day needed a guide to how it should be presented. Such a guide exists and it is

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Miscellany: militarisation still marching?

Honest History continually collects resources to add to our growing database on the theme of ‘not only Anzac but also (lots of other strands of Australian history)’. Of course, our interest – and the times – being what they are

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Honest History list: Remembrance Day analysed

These articles, some new, some already on our website, raise some important aspects of Remembrance Day, once Armistice Day, always ‘the eleventh day of the eleventh month – and at the eleventh hour’, one of the earliest mantras many of

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Those who teach, fight

‘Those who teach, fight’*, Honest History, 4 November 2014 David Stephens reviews a recent publication by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Schooling, Service and the Great War. _____________________________________________ The educational materials offered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) have

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Highlights reel: curriculum review Supplementary Material

‘Highlights reel: curriculum review Supplementary Material’, Honest History, 4 November 2014 This highlights reel provides more detail from the Supplementary Material published with the Review of the Australian Curriculum Final Report (Donnelly-Wiltshire). Our initial take on the history parts of

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Highlights reel: ACOSS Poverty Report 2014

‘Highlights reel: ACOSS Poverty Report 2014’, Honest History, 30 October 2014 We are told that one of the most notable aspects of recent Australian history has been unbroken economic prosperity. We are told about more than two decades of growth,

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Anzac Treasures follows a well-worn track

‘The well-worn track of commemoration’, Honest History, 23 October 2014 David Stephens reviews Anzac Treasures: The Gallipoli Collection of the Australian War Memorial Anzac Treasures is a great big, complex book, just as the Australian War Memorial is a great

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Honest History list: about 98 resources on Gough Whitlam

Australia’s 21st prime minister, Edward Gough Whitlam, has died at the age of 98. This is a roundup of commentary. It may show something of how myths are created and nourished. Mark Latham wrote this in June 2014. There is

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Honest History list: seven general histories of Australia and beyond

We can’t manage links to full text with most of these references but we can provide a summary of what’s in them and who wrote them. There’s a counter-factual collection also, to give a different perspective: Alison Bashford and Stuart

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Review note: a ‘non-khaki’ view of Australia

‘A “non-khaki view” of Australia: “defining moments” matched against Honest History themes’, Honest History, 7 October 2014 updated Background The National Museum of Australia has put together 100 ‘defining moments’ in Australian history. The aim is ‘to stimulate a public discussion

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The Grace of Goodness (Rev John Saunders) reviewed

‘The grace of goodness in early Sydney’, Honest History, 7 October 2014 Doug Hynd* reviews Ken R. Manley & Barbara J. Coe, The Grace of Goodness: John Saunders – Baptist Pastor and Activist, Sydney 1834-1848, Greenwood Press in association with

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Lest We Forget collection reviewed

‘Lest We Forget comes out of the West’, Honest History, 7 October 2014 Paddy Gourley* reviews Bobbie Oliver & Sue Summers, ed., Lest We Forget? Marginalised Aspects of Australia at War and Peace, Black Swan Press, Curtin University, Perth, WA,

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Honest History list: seven resources on teaching history

The Honest History website includes a number of items tagged ‘Teaching history’. Some of them are also tagged ‘Using and abusing history’. Here is a selection: Parkes and Sharp analyse how five secondary history textbooks treat Gallipoli and Simpson and

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Highlights reel: Elizabeth Samet on soldiers dying in vain

‘Highlights reel: Elizabeth Samet on soldiers dying in vain’, Honest History, 23 September 2014 and updated Elizabeth Samet teaches English to first-year cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In a recent article in Foreign Policy she

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Anzac’s unauthorised biography reviewed

‘The unauthorised biography of a legend’, Honest History, 15 September 2014 Frank Bongiorno reviews Carolyn Holbrook, Anzac, the Unauthorised Biography, NewSouth, Sydney, 2014. See also speeches by Stuart Macintyre and the author at the Melbourne launch of the book. _________________

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Honest History list: 10 useful Web portals

Web portals abound and we are trying to include useful ones on the Honest History site. Here are ten that are worth opening and exploring: Dance: Australian Dance portal site with brief history and many links to relevant sites and

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Going home: The War that Changed Us, ep. 4

‘Going Home’, the final episode of The War that Changed Us, mostly covers 1918 and the first year of peace but otherwise continues the approach of earlier episodes, interweaving the experiences of its six lead characters in Europe and Australia.

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Review note: more Great War miscellany

‘Review note: more Great War miscellany’, Honest History, 7 September 2014 This is a further round-up of recent (and recently discovered) writing on Anzac and World War I. Earlier ones are accessible here. We are trying to do no more

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Things come apart: The War that Changed Us, ep. 3

By episode 3 of The War that Changed Us, we’ve fully adjusted to its dramatised documentary approach, its repeated home front-front line segues, its six main actors’ role types, the expert commentators, colourised footage and stills, narrating voice-over hinting at

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Honest History list: wartime spin

One hundred years ago today, 1 September 1914, this item appeared in The Brisbane Courier: THE BRITISH FORCES. OFFICIAL V. OTHER REPORTS. A REASSURING STATEMENT. LONDON, Sunday Night The Government Press Bureau states that its account of the fortunes of

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The War that Changed Us (Ep. 2): euphoria becomes hard slog

We were a bit late catching up with this week’s episode but this is what we thought. Episode 2 of The War that Changed Us grasps how quickly the mood changed in World War I, both among the men who

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Honest History list: seven nation-shaping events before Gallipoli

Some Australians say the Australian nation was ‘born’ at Gallipoli. Others hedge their bets by suggesting our nationhood was ‘affirmed’ there or that we ‘came of age’. The most extreme views imply that an effusion of blood is necessary before

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Honest History list: inequality by the dozen

You can now find our inequality resources linked from here. 14 November 2015

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Lest we abuse their memory

‘Lest we abuse their memory’, Honest History, 7 August 2014 Richard Thwaites* reviews Shanti Sumartojo and Ben Wellings, ed., Nation, Memory and Great War Commemoration: Mobilizing the Past in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Peter Lang, Bern, 2014 The powerful

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Review note: August guns

‘Review note: August guns’, Honest History, 8 August 2014 In the week that marked the centenary of the beginning of the Great War (as well as the 70th anniversary of the Cowra Breakout and the 69th anniversary of Hiroshima) it

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Highlights reel: and the war came

‘Highlights reel: ‘and the war came’, Honest History, 4 August 2014 Hobart Regatta photos from the Weekly Courier newspaper, January 1914 (Flickr Commons/Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office) This highlights reel takes extracts from Australian press editorials and other published material

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Labour and the Great War reviewed

‘Labour and the Great War from a dozen perspectives’, Honest History, 4 August 2014 Ernst Willheim* reviews Frank Bongiorno, Raelene Frances and Bruce Scates, ed., Labour and the Great War: The Australian Working Class and the Making of Anzac, Australian

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Highlights reel: Margaret MacMillan on history wars

‘Highlights reel: Margaret Macmillan on history wars’, Honest History, 28 July 2014 As the Donnelly-Wiltshire report on the national curriculum is about to be handed to the Australian Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, it is instructive to look at a

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Highlights reel: Margaret Macmillan on history

‘Highlights reel: Margaret Macmillan on history’, Honest History, 20 July 2014 Canadian-born, now Oxford-based historian, Margaret Macmillan, has made a distinguished contribution to the literature of the Great War with her book, The War That Ended Peace: The Road to

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Review note: Great War miscellany

‘Review note: Great War miscellany’, Honest History, 18 July 2014 This is our third roundup of the embarrassment of riches coming to our attention in the World War I centenary period. It is a bit broader in sweep than our

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Our reviews

Book and resource reviews, surveys of published works, ‘highlights reels’ (extracts from sometimes hard-to-get works), ‘factsheets’ (current issues), ‘lists’ (selections from the site). To explore by themes, use the Themes menu; by author, the References by author: A-Z menu.

Highlights reel: HB Higgins on militarism

‘Highlights reel: HB Higgins on militarism’, Honest History, 11 July 2014 There may be a generational aspect to intellectual endeavour among public men and women. Whether it is because statesmen (very few stateswomen then) at the turn of the twentieth

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Highlights reel: HB Higgins on the yellow peril

‘Highlights reel: HB Higgins on the yellow peril’, Honest History, 2 July 2014 White staff, Ocean Island (Kanakas on the left), 1907 (source: National Archives of Australia, R32, 6425388) Our first highlights reel presented HB Higgins as a socialist; and

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Highlights reel: HB Higgins on political differences

‘Highlights reel: HB Higgins on political differences’, Honest History, 25 June 2014 The past is not always a strange country but looking backwards requires balance. It is easy to find superficially similar situations and opinions from decades ago and transplant

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Review note: centenary war and peace stories for children

‘Review note: centenary war and peace stories for children’, Honest History, 24 June 2014 updated He had killed a man not six hours before. He had killed six men during the past month – or was it a year? –

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Review note: Australian war correspondents and war historians

‘Review note: Australian war correspondents and war historians’, Honest History, 20 June 2014 and updated CEW Bean, the eminent war historian, began as a war correspondent. His work is represented by selections from his diary, the Official History, and the

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Review note: Arts items miscellany

‘Review note: Arts items miscellany’, Honest History, 16 June 2014 Musician and music festival director, Chris Latham, discusses the impact of war service on composers, noting that ‘the trauma caused by the two world wars created a hiatus in the

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University of Adelaide Library: e-Books

We are adding this to the Recommended links section of the site but just wanted to give it a plug along the way. The site is an alphabetical list of e-Books available all over the Net. From a quick glance

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Review note: research sources miscellany

‘Review note: research sources miscellany’, Honest History, 12 June 2014 Honest History’s constant (perhaps obsessive) digging into historical sources turns up, as well as individual gems, lodes of promising ore. From World War I, the National Archives has a finding

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Review note: more Anzac miscellany 2014

‘Review note: more Anzac miscellany 2014’, Honest History, 24 May 2014 Honest History’s David Stephens has an article on Australian Independent Media Network, ‘Five arguments for downsizing Anzac‘, which reworks his speeches at the Canberra Peace Convergence and at a

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Review note: Battle of Indigenous warriors

‘Review note: the Battle of the Indigenous warriors’, Honest History, 24 May 2014 and updated A notable element of the Anzac centenary is the attention being paid to the stories of Indigenous soldiers wearing the King’s uniform in the two

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Australia as Imperialist ‘Neighbour from Hell’

Richard Thwaites reviews Tom O’Lincoln’s book The Neighbour from Hell: Two Centuries of Australian Imperialism (Interventions, Melbourne, 2014) Tom O’Lincoln is a long-standing contributor to Australian political and historical discussion from the Marxist and Trotskyist perspective. This book is published

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Review note: Anzac miscellany 2014

‘Review note: Anzac miscellany 2014’, Honest History, 30 April 2014 Anzac Day and the period surrounding it always produces reflective pieces, as well as colour supplements and, increasingly, promotional links to football games. In 2014, 99 years on, the number

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Stanley, Peter: Anzac’s Long Shadow highlights a national obsession

Stanley, Peter Honest History’s President, Professor Peter Stanley, reviews and reflects on James Brown’s new book, Anzac’s Long Shadow. James Brown, Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession, Black Inc, Melbourne, 2014, $19.99; also available electronically James Brown,

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Piggott, Michael: Listening to ANZAC Voices

Michael Piggott (linking to an Appendix on commemorating the survivors which includes confronting images) In The Pyramid: The Kurt Wallander Stories (Vintage Books, 2000) Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell has his famous protagonist struggling to give a report. ‘It’s a

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About Using and abusing history

Click here for all items related to: Using and abusing history Passover, Mathilde Hahn Meyer, Germany, late 19th or early 20th century, painting on canvas (source: Flickr Commons/Center for Jewish History, New York City 2004.226; repository: Yeshiva University Museum, New

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Piggott, Michael: Sums and parts in a new collection

Piggott, Michael ‘Sums and parts in a new collection’, Honest History e-Newsletter, No. 6, October 2013 Australian History Now (edited by Anna Clark and Paul Ashton) NewSouth, Sydney, 2013 What does the sum of a book’s parts add up to?

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About Teaching history

Click here for all items related to: Teaching history Honest History hopes to be useful to teachers of history, particularly at secondary and tertiary levels. We believe history teachers play an important role in helping students to develop the tools

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About Getting on with the world

Click here for all items related to: Getting on with the world Here there are references which address Australia’s relations with the rest of the world. In some cases, this relationship is associated with other strands of our history, such

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About The sweat of our brows

Click here for all items related to: The sweat of our brows In this section there is material on how Australians have earned a living in different ways for themselves and their families, how they have succeeded and failed, how

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About Learning and improving

Click here for all items related to: Learning and improving This section covers education, science, medicine, research, communications and related topics. Here there are references on the early history of Australian education (Austin, Austin & Selleck) and on recent developments

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About The land we live in

Click here for all items related to: The land we live in Australia is shaped by geography, climate, geology and our history of using the land. And so are Australians. Here the themes include prehistory, distance, exploration, climate, environment, natural

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About People like us

Click here for all items related to: People like us How do we recognise what makes a person Australian? Some people have believed that Anzac gave us distinctive national qualities; these are looked at in the website section Anzac analysed.

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About Ruling ourselves

Click here for all items related to: Ruling ourselves Australia has followed its own unique path toward nationhood and an unknown future, drawing on different traditions adapted to our own time and place. The themes here include political, constitutional, law

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About Expressing ourselves

Click here for all items related to: Expressing ourselves Here there are references covering a wide field associated with the expression of talents or preferences. In most cases, the authors attempt to draw some connections between the particular strand that

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About Strands of Australian History

Click here for all items related to: Strands of Australian history Many strands and themes run through and enliven the chronological narrative of Australian history and this is the burden of Daley, a Jauncey column, another Jauncey column and Stephens.

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About Aftermath

Click here for all items related to: Aftermath Under this heading there are references about the effects of war on the people who fought and their families and the efforts of their country (which had sent them to war) to

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About Home front

Click here for all items related to: Home front Here there are references which bring out clearly how there is more to war history than the deeds of men in khaki and that this is the case not just in

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About Reality of war

Click here for all items related to: Reality of war Here you will find an emphasis on what war was really like for those who fought it. There is necessarily some overlap with the material under Home front and Aftermath,

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Australia’s war history

Click here for all items related to: Australia’s war history What are the central elements of Australia’s involvement with war and how do we continually reinforce them? While Australians’ relationship with the Anzac tradition or myth is a key theme

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About Anzac analysed

Click here for all items related to: Anzac analysed Why has Anzac become so important to Australians and what are the implications of this for our country in the 21st century? Contributions and references come from contemporary historians, journalists and

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Piggott, Michael: The Battle for Australia: Henry Reynolds’s ‘Forgotten War’

Michael Piggott* ‘The Battle for Australia: Henry Reynolds’s “Forgotten War”‘, Honest History Newsletter No. 5, September 2013 There is so much about Henry Reynolds’s latest book (Forgotten War, NewSouth Publishing, 2013) to admire, to think about and to endorse. What

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