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

Honest History President, Professor Frank Bongiorno of the ANU, talks to Richard Denniss, economist from The Australia Institute. Their chat (from mark 14.00) covers national days, the commemoration of blood sacrifice, how corporate donors to the War Memorial are possibly seeking reflected glory, how arms manufacturers seek to work the Memorial into their branding, how freedom of speech in Australia seems not to extend to criticism around Anzac Day, how people have a need for ritual, how politicians abuse Anzac, the commercialisation of Anzac, overspending on Australian commemoration, how the Anzac centenary has left out White Australia and the Empire (both big at the time), and the overemphasis on war in how many of us approach our history.

Richard Denniss’s Lucky Country series for The Saturday Paper ranges widely – certainly not just about economics. Worth a listen.

29 May 2018

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