Eyes and ears needed

If you see or hear media coverage of topics relevant to Honest History, please email the details to admin@honesthistory.net.au, so we can add them to this section.

From the Honest History vault: It’s not just about the submarines; AUKUS fundamentally threatens Australian independence

In October 2021, we posted a piece on Honest History decrying the focus on the submarine part of the AUKUS story. That was when the Morrison government (remember them?) was still in power. (We had another look at the issue

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Stephens, David: It’s a cultural thing – isn’t it?

David Stephens ‘It’s a cultural thing – isn’t it?‘ Inside Story, 5 September 2018 A parliamentary inquiry seems to be carefully avoiding the real challenge for Australia’s national museums, archives and libraries … [The inquiry by the Joint Committee on

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Guilt and hagiography: Bongiorno and Stanley quoted on Brendan Nelson and Ben Roberts-Smith

Michael Bachelard, Fairfax investigative reporter, has a piece today quoting, among others, Honest History president, Frank Bongiorno, and past-president, Peter Stanley, on the inappropriateness of recent comments by War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, regarding the investigation into Ben Roberts-Smith VC.

Daley, Paul: Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised

Paul Daley ‘Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised‘, Guardian Australia, 1 February 2018 Pulls together the themes of Anzackery, arms manufacturers inflicting advertising on Canberra airport users, and the same manufacturers donating to the Australian War Memorial

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Letter to the Editor: Euphemisms are deadly

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: Every Anzac and Remembrance Day, we hear euphemisms for men and women who have died in war. They are “the fallen”, they “made the supreme sacrifice”, “they shall grow not

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Letter to the Editor: War Memorial a great place but no ‘soul of our nation’

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: What nonsense from Bill Shorten (Private Capital, November 7, p. 13). The War Memorial no more “represents the soul of our nation” than any other place where Australians gather. It

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The Honest History Book is on this non-fiction list – and well covered

Lisa Hill at popular blog ANZ LitLovers has done a list of books for non-fiction November. The Honest History Book is on Lisa’s list of 13 non-fiction books of 2017. (Lisa reviewed the book recently.) Also on the LitLovers list

Two reviews of – and a French riff off – The Honest History Book

The Honest History Book was published seven months ago and is still doing very well, thank you. There have been lots of reviews and comments (follow the link above) and here are some more. French-Australian historian, Romain Fathi, now at

Stephens, David: Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that ‘has lost its way’

David Stephens ‘Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that “has lost its way”‘, Honest History, 18 October 2017 updated Today’s Canberra Times (online and hard copy) included a letter from me which was butchered by the

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‘[M]easured and analytical essays’: Sarah Burnside on Overland reviews The Honest History Book

Overland has posted a review note of The Honest History Book. Author Sarah Burnside of Perth says: I picked up The Honest History Book during the first wave of concerted right-wing attacks on Yassmin Abdel-Magied* for her seven-word facebook post on Anzac

‘A long overdue reassessment’: Steven Carroll on The Honest History Book

The Sydney Morning Herald has a review note by Steven Carroll in which he describes The Honest History Book as ‘[a] long overdue reassessment’ of an Australian history long Anzac-dominated. There is more about the book here, including reviews by

ABC Q&A comments by Minister Tehan and others show how far past Peak Anzac we have come

The ABC’s Q&A program last night (video; transcript; Twitter; ABC story) tackled a number of questions with compere Virginia Trioli and panellists including Dan Tehan, Minister for a number of things including the Centenary of Anzac and Veterans’ Affairs. Honest

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The Honest History Book media coverage

Our regularly updating promotional package on The Honest History Book includes links to media mentions of the book, including a number of articles which include excerpts from the book. As well, Guardian Australia published David Stephens’ op ed on the

Honest History’s Alison Broinowski quoted on 1975 Australian election and possible US involvement

Honest History vice president, Alison Broinowski, is quoted today in a story in The New Daily about whether the United States interfered in the Australian election of 1975. The article references authors Andrew Fowler and John Pilger and former CIA

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SMH picks up Honest History point about literary prizes defaulting to war books

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s literary editor, Susan Wyndham, has picked up some points Honest History made in response to Colin Steele’s report about the manipulation of literary prizes: three of the winners after prime ministerial intervention were books about military

Honest History’s David Stephens on 6PR Perth Drive with Adam Shand

Adam Shand on 6PR looked at issues to do with travel to Turkey, in the wake of DFAT upgrading travel alerts. He put questions to HH’s David Stephens about commemoration and appropriateness. Among other things, Stephens said that, if Anzac

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Minister defends expensive Monash boondoggle* while sod is turned

Update 25 October 2017: the publicity machine cranks up as the opening of the centre approaches. Update 21 January 2016: augmented version now up on Independent Australia. FRENCH COVERAGE NOW ADDED; SEE BELOW Anzac centenary minister, Stuart Robert, has wielded

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Minister tweets a response to Honest History post

We don’t often get public responses from government (though we see evidence from time to time of official attitudes to our work – there’s a list below) so it was nice to hear from the Hon. Stuart Robert MP, Minister for

Rose of No Man’s Land perfume: Fairfax fulminates about fragrance

Fairfax columnist Ian Warden (Gang-Gang) has picked up Honest History’s item about Rose of No Man’s Land perfume, the new low in crass commercial ‘commemoration’ of the Great War. Readers who wish to express an opinion to Byredo, the Swedish

Minister’s bloody fantasies emerge in his speeches

Honest History’s secretary and editor, David Stephens, writes in Fairfax today about the obsession with blood sacrifice that has characterised the thoughts and actions of authority figures and their acolytes down the ages. He finds plenty of examples in the

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Honest History critique of war propaganda popular on social media

An ABC story on Honest History’s critique of Audacity, a publication by the Australian War Memorial and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, was very popular on social media in the week 24-30 August. Facebook: 82 839 people reached; 422 likes/comments/shares;

Honest History criticism of sanitised war history from AWM/DVA

Honest History’s criticism of a Children’s Book Council award to the book Audacity was reported on the ABC today. Honest History secretary and editor, David Stephens, described the book as sanitised, distorted and bizarre war history. He gave the example

Ataturk and Anzackery on Monday

Ian Warden (‘Gang-Gang’) in Fairfax uses our City of Hume Ataturk material in a piece about the battle between truth and sentimentality. (We’d prefer to say the battle between history and myth or the battle between honest and dishonest history.)

‘Anzac porn’ in Canberra Times

Veteran Canberra Times columnist, Ian Warden, yesterday mentioned the speech by Carolyn Holbrook to the recent UNSW Canberra Summer School for Secondary History Teachers. Warden, whose column ‘Gang Gang’ has informed and entertained Canberrans for 40 years, was particularly taken

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Honest History on Australian War Memorial WWI galleries

The Canberra Times (scroll down to ‘How Australians respond to history’) has published a letter from David Stephens for Honest History commenting on remarks by Australian War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, about the refurbished World War I galleries at the

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Honest History and the deep North

Peter Sellick writes in Online Opinion mainly about Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North and what it says about how people behave during wars. Along the way, Sellick mentions Honest History’s role in presenting an alternative view

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Team Australia is about the majority, too

Honest History’s David Stephens has a post on the Australian Independent Media Network, ‘“Team Australia” threatens the majority, too‘. He argues that ‘Team Australia’ is about both dog whistling for the majority and aggression towards minorities. Making insiders feel safe

Comment on Donnelly-Wiltshire review; Anzac and children

Justine Ferrari article in The Australian (paywall: extract below) includes comments from Honest History secretary, David Stephens. David Stephens has an article in Independent Australia on whether Anzac is a danger to our children. 16 October 2014 The review’s critique

Gallipoli burning? Guardian Australia reports

Honest History president, Peter Stanley, in Guardian Australia about bushfire risk at Gallipoli. “The area is just waiting to go up again,” Stanley told Guardian Australia. “There is a huge amount of fuel for a fire and one thing the

Honest History in teachers’ union magazine

Honest History secretary David Stephens was invited to write an article for AEU Educator, the magazine of the ACT Branch of the Australian Education Union. The article is online and in the hard copy version (page 25 in both versions).

Paul Daley on our failure to learn about war

Paul Daley writes in the Guardian Australia about the impending commemorative jamboree, our liking for euphemism about war (‘the fallen’, ‘sacrifice’), our continuing obsession with monuments and memorials, and our failure to learn lessons. The article links to material on

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Many Australias

Australians have always been over-concerned about what the BBC thinks about us but this BBC man may be onto something. ‘A common failing of these kinds of columns [about national identity, often around Australia Day] is that they insist on defining a singular

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War heroes and Boys’ Own adventures

David Stephens writes in Independent Australia about how the mateship of service life and the poignancy of service deaths obscures the pointlessness of ‘sacrifice’ when there is no connection to the national interest. Hero worship of the military also gets

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The honesty of history

Francesca Beddie in The Australian recalls the serve Honest History received from Nick Cater of the same publication. Cater described our website, us and our President, Peter Stanley, as ‘condescending’ for targeting ‘history that is tendentious, unjustified, exaggerated, distorted, partial

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Blinkered commemoration at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens writes in Fairfax media 10 June 2o14 about the parochial approach taken by the Australian War Memorial to commemoration, despite the possibilities offered by its legislation for a broader perspective. The hard copy in the Canberra Times 11

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Facial injuries should not be covered up

Paul Daley writes in Guardian Australia about the work of Kerry Neale on World War I facial injuries. Kerry gave an Honest History lecture at Manning Clark House on 26 May 2014.

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Anzac, Bolt and Cater boost Honest History visits

Nick Cater in The Australian gave Anzac-questioning historians a serve and characterised Honest History (incorrectly) as their house organ. Cater’s commenters were reasonably evenly balanced. Andrew Bolt in the Herald-Sun and the Daily Telegraph quoted a slab of Mr Cater’s

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Pyne and the uncontested national narrative

David Stephens writes in the Canberra Times (23 December 2013) on ‘Learning lessons of History’, noting several views on the risks of a national history curriculum that would promote a simplistic or uncontested national narrative. 23 December 2013

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Keating on Remembrance Day – Online Opinion

David Stephens’ commentary on former PM Paul Keating’s apparent ambivalence about the significance of Remembrance Day (11 November) for Australians, posted at the Online Opinion website 29 November 2013. A more extensive consideration appears here under the rubric of Jauncey’s

Honest History as ‘loony mates’

In a letter to the editor of the Northern Territory News on 13 November 2013, David Sanderson of Humpty Doo (NT) attacks ‘Professor Joan Beaumont and her loony mates of the group Honest History’ for asserting that Australians do not

War fires should be left to smoulder: Eureka Street

Eureka Street (Vol 23, No 22, 10 November 2013) carries an article by Honest History’s David Stephens asking why Australians have been giving so much emphasis to Remembrance Day, and attributing values to war commemorations that are out of proportion

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ABC’s 7:30 on Honest History

On Friday, 8 November 2013, the ABC 7:30 ACT local edition covered the launch of the Honest History website, and included interviews with Peter Stanley and Paul Daley, in a broad-ranging and well-produced story from Jeremy Thompson about the different

Paul Daley gets to the heart of Honest History

Author and journalist Paul Daley caught the spirit of Honest History and brought in a range of personal reflections from his work as a historical writer, during his talk as guest speaker at the formal launch of the Honest History

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Tara tackles tomfoolery

Woroni, the student newspaper of the Australian National University, carries a trenchant critique by Tara Shenoy of the politicisation of war in general, and Anzac in particular, dated 31 October 2013. The article ‘The tomfoolery of Anzackery‘ quotes Honest History’s

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Christopher Pyne’s history curriculum

On 28 September 2013, Fairfax media online and in hardcopy newspapers carried extensive coverage by reporter Daniel Hurst of the stated intention of new Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, to take a stronger role in correcting ‘leftist’ agenda bias in school

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Waterford, Jack: Gallipoli souvenirs: but wait, there’s more…

Jack Waterford ‘AWM and Gallipoli Souvenirs Inc‘, Canberra Times, 7 July 2013 Criticism of commercialised war commemoration.

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Gang-gang on Gallipoli

Ian Warden, Gang-gang columnist in the Canberra Times, writes about our e-newsletter No. 4 and particularly Peter Stanley’s article/speech to the Gallipoli Memorial Club. Ian also takes the point that there was a vibrant Australian nation before 1915. 23 August 2013

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