e-Newsletter no.26, 9 June 2015

ISSN: 2202-5561 ©

New on the site https://honesthistory.net.au/

  • Getting right with Vietnam: some myth-busting is needed
  • Ataturk in the City of Hume: an exchange of correspondence
  • Anzac and Anzackery: David Stephens contrasts the ideal and the caricature
  • Sex on the Nile: Raden Dunbar on sex-slave trafficking in Egypt circa 1914
  • Alan Moorehead’s Gallipoli: Ann Moyal writes
  • What we can learn from Adam Smith: Ian Buckley considers
  • Accessing three journal special editions: a review note
  • Moody bloke gets sentimental: Humphrey McQueen (1977) on CJ Dennis
  • King O’Malley sees two sides of the Jaunceys, 1935 and 1951
  • Home page features: Ataturkery, Spratlyswatch and (soon) inequality

Centenary Watch https://honesthistory.net.au/wp/centenary-commemoration-watch/

Estimates Committee jousting – and correcting; more local grants; but also from the Minister; no quarter in Campbell; IP Australia Anzac advertisements, patents and more; Simpson Prize; Children’s Book Council; Imperial War Museum recognises conscientious objectors; Honest History film reviews go global


Now. ‘Many laws introduced with unseemly haste before Christmas in the name of national security go well beyond what might be deemed to be necessary, creating a chilling effect on freedom of speech and the press and breaching the right to privacy.’ (Professor Gillian Triggs, Human Rights Commissioner, 5 June 2015)

Then. ‘The passage of emergency powers during wartime was not especially remarkable, but in practice it gave the executive extraordinary discretion and arbitrary power. When Hughes became Prime Minister in late 1915 he would exploit the War Precautions Act not just for purposes of waging the war but for political advantage. The Act was amended several times and its regulations constantly increased until there were more than a hundred regulations imposing restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. Once when the Solicitor General Robert Garran was asked, “Would it be an offence under the War Precautions Act ….?” he simply cut the questioner off with “Yes”.’ (Joan Beaumont, ‘Going to war 1914-18: the view from the Australian Parliament’, 2014)

Maaaate! ‘[I]s our fabled “mateship”, for example, any more than a protective sexist ritual for emotionally inarticulate males?’ (Geoffrey Robertson, Dreaming Too Loud, 2013)

Missing links. ‘There is nothing about human liberty in our constitution that we can point to with pride, or happily invite our children to recite in school. We will not, I fear, have an interesting future until we tell of a more inspiring past, a past where we participated in, and sometimes led, human progress.’ (Geoffrey Robertson, Dreaming Too Loud, 2013)

Awkward. ‘The Christian, if he is true to his calling, is always an agitator … At the heart of our religion there lies a principle in absolute contradiction to the principles by which the world speaks and thinks and acts.’ (South African Bishop Trevor Huddleston)

Hard word. ‘Australia gives us freedom. Let us guard her well, train for her sake in peace, and die for her, if need be, in war.’ (Rule 36 for Senior Cadets under universal training scheme, Australia, c. 1910)

Name of the game. ‘To say that the politics of the moment influences history is neither to justify the intentional distortion of our story for partisan purposes, nor to assert that one account is as “good” or “valid” as another, regardless of its factual basis. It is simply to acknowledge that the heart of the historian’s task lies “in explanation and in selection,” as the scholar Morton White noted in his classic book Foundations of Historical Knowledge.’ (EJ Dionne, Our Divided Political Heart, 2012)

Politics of history. ‘But the politics of history cannot be explained simply by the personal predilections of individual historians. Our historical understanding is also enriched by the interplay between current political and civic struggles and our efforts to arrive at new and better understandings of what came before.’ (EJ Dionne, Our Divided Political Heart, 2012)

What’s on https://honesthistory.net.au/wp/whats-on-around-australia/