It’s been a great year for history publishing in Australia. Honest History has had the privilege of publishing reviews of materials that discuss, interrogate and eloquently distill the multi-faceted realities of our country’s history. From Diane Bell’s stirring reflection on Clare Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom to Tjanara Goreng Goreng’s highly personal review of the Lydon and Ryan edited collection on the Myall Creek massacre, all of our reviewers continued to deliver astute, engaging reviews. We thank them for their contribution.
Honest History’s reviews during 2018 covered books on these topics:
- Paul Daley’s reflections on patriotism;
- Australian federal elections: do they matter?
- the making of Australian war art;
- a memorialisation of Jeff Grey’s life, honouring his scholarly and personal contribution;
- a Stolen Generations memoir and winner of the SPN Most Underrated Book Award;
- Australia’s foreign and defence policy: machinery broken beyond repair?
- a family memoir that confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people;
- a powerful remembrance of the Myall Creek massacre;
- Japanese war crimes trials after World War II;
- flourishing myths and the weight of evidence: Ned Kelly again;
- a big book about big ideas: the story of Australia’s suffrage campaigners;
- the most important book on Australia and the Great War;
- mutiny: can it sometimes be the most rational act for a soldier?
- Asia: is it closer to war than at any time in recent history?
- the development of northern Australia;
- Steve Sailah’s self-published novel Killing Kitchener;
- Charles Ulm: a pioneer of Australian aviation;
- coming to grips with Grandpa, Japan and wars;
- Dunera Lives and the resilience of worthy contributions to Australia;
- myths and reality about Le Hamel, a small battle on the Western Front in 1918;
- brownout murderous brutality in wartime Melbourne 1942;
- myth-busting about the Sydney Wars 1788–1817;
- Griffith Review’s first exclusively Indigenous Australian-themed issue;
- the unknown Anzac, lost to his family for decades after the Great War;
- the history of the Bible in Australia;
- the history of Evangelical Christians in Australia;
- can peace be as interesting as war?
- Mary Montgomerie Bennett: author, educator, activist for Indigenous justice;
- an exploration into Peat Island mental hospital;
- Growing up Aboriginal in Australia;
- the what-ifs of Australian history;
- Quarterly Essay 69; Mark McKenna writes;
- Australian archaeology and archaeologists as seen by Billy Griffiths;
- Meanjin Autumn 2018;
- South Australia and the Great War;
- Australia’s republican past – and invigorating present and future;
- Korea: where the American Century began;
- how Australia treated former prisoners of war after 1945;
- Griffith Review 59; the Commonwealth today;
- a seminal contribution to South Australian and Australian history;
- a Text Classic: Don Charlwood between war and depression;
- complex stories of the Djadja Wurrung in Victoria’s Good Country; and
- Zoffany’s Daughter: Love and Treachery on a Small Island.
If you’re heading down to your local independent bookshop these holidays, be sure to check out these titles and support Australian publishers and authors by investing in and engaging with these important stories. To paraphrase Diane Bell, ‘Read them … Share them … Start a conversation’.
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 show or periodical
Many thanks to our reviewers for 2018: Derek Abbott, Norman Abjorensen, Diane Bell, Frank Bongiorno, Alison Broinowski, Richard Broinowski, Pamela Burton, Vance Gainsborough, Rolf Gerritsen, Tjanara Goreng Goreng, Douglas Hynd, Mark McKenna, John Myrtle, Margaret Pender, Michael Piggott, Andrew Richardson, Lyndall Ryan, John Shield, Seumas Spark, Peter Stanley, David Stephens, Jane Stephens, John Warhurst, Gary Werskey and Ben Wilkie.
Ellen Stephens, HH reviews coordinator
21 December 2018 updated