Bashford, Alison & Stuart Macintyre, ed.: Cambridge History

Bashford, Alison & Stuart Macintyre, ed.

The Cambridge History of Australia, Cambridge University Press, New York & Port Melbourne, Vic., two volumes, 2013

Histories like this underline the many-strandedness of our history and the range of historians active in the field.

The Cambridge History of Australia offers a comprehensive view of Australian history from its pre-European origins to the present day. Over two volumes, this major work of reference tells the nation’s social, political and cultural story. Volume 1 examines Australia’s indigenous and colonial history through to the Federation of the colonies in 1901. Volume 2 opens with the birth of the twentieth century, tracing developments in the nation through to the present day. Each volume is divided into two parts. The first part offers a chronological treatment of the period, while the second examines the period in light of key themes, such as law, religion, the economy and the environment. Both volumes feature detailed maps, chronologies and lists of further reading. (blurb)

The contributors to the two volumes are Peter Veth, Susan O’Connor, Shino Konishi, Maria Nugent, Emma Christopher, Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Grace Karskens, Lisa Ford, David Andrew Roberts, Ann Curthoys, Jessie Mitchell, David Goodman, Stuart Macintyre, Sean Scalmer, Melissa Bellanta, Helen Irving, Janet McCalman, Rebecca Kippen, Andrea Gaynor, Lionel Frost, Tracey Banivanua Mar, Penelope Edmonds, Julia Horne, Geoffrey Sherington, Mark Finnane, Anne O’Brien, John Gascoigne, Sara Maroske, Penny Russell, Robert Dixon, Jeanette Hoorn, Deryck Schreuder, Marilyn Lake, Cindy McCreery, Kirsten McKenzie, John Hirst, Stephen Garton, Peter Stanley, Frank Bongiorno, Kate Darian-Smith, Judith Brett, Paul Strangio, James Walter, Murray Goot, Graeme Davison, David Carter, Bridget Griffen-Foley, Alison Bashford, Peter Hobbins, Shurlee Swain, Katie Holmes, Sarah Pinto, Anna Haebich, Steve Kinnane, Simon Ville, Nicholas Brown, Alison Mackinnon, Helen Proctor, Gregory Barton, Brett Bennett, Agnieszka Sobocinska, Richard White, David Lowe, Carl Bridge, Tomoko Akami, Tony Milner and Mark McKenna.

The books were launched in the midst of a new controversy about conflicting views of history. Macintyre discusses the books here. The Governor-General’s full speech launching the books is here, a review is here and a comment from a young academic is here. This article is critical of the books’ treatment of genocide in Australian history.

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