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

Mark McKenna

Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available

Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens and politicians can come to new terms with the past. Indigenous recognition and a new push for a republic await action.

Judging by the Captain Cook statue controversy, though, our debates about the past have never been more fruitless. Is there a way beyond the history wars that began under John Howard? And in an age of free-floating fears about the global, digital future, is history any longer relevant, let alone equal to the task of grounding the nation?

In this inspiring essay, Mark McKenna considers the frontier, the Anzac legacy and deep time. He drags some fascinating new scholarship into the light, and pushes the debate about history beyond the familiar polarities. (blurb)

Quarterly Essay 69 is reviewed for Honest History by Michael Piggott. Trent Dalton review in The Australian. Extracts in The Monthly and Fairfax. Amazon teaser. Google teaser. Mark McKenna talks to Phillip Adams on Late Night Live. Paul Daley’s article in Guardian Australia is relevant. Mark McKenna is one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters. An earlier essay by McKenna considers the ‘black armband’ view of Australian history.

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