Butler, Richard: The Honest History Book (UNSW Press 2017)

Richard Butler

The Honest History Book (UNSW Press 2017)‘, Pearls and Irritations, 15 May 2017

A review of The Honest History Book.

This is a book of singular importance [says Butler]. It provides the evidence and materials for the correction of the distortion of Australia’s history resulting from Anzackery and the continuing insistence that our national character was forged in and remains defined by our participation in foreign wars …

[The book is] likely to be condemned by some as unpatriotic, to mention the most obvious form of wickedness of which it may be accused. It is nothing of the sort, as both its sections attest. It is also not intrinsically pacifist, another identified form of wickedness. What it does extol is the notion of historical verity. The standard it sets is the historian’s duty to deal in facts, to insist that only events for which there is evidence should be entered into the record.

Richard Butler AC is a former senior Australian diplomat and former Governor of Tasmania. The Pearls and Irritations blog is managed by John Menadue AO, a former senior Australian public servant.  Both Butler and Menadue are among Honest History’s distinguished supporters.


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