Honest History E-newsletter No. 49, 30 January 2018

ISSN: 2202-5561 ©

New on the Honest History site

Honest History in 2018 – and possibly beyond: a prospectus from HH HQ

The Good Country: The Djadja Wurrung, The Settlers and the Protectors: Ben Wilkie reviews Bain Attwood’s new book

John Shield looks at Don Charlwood’s All the Green Year (1965), a book about war, depression and change in 20th century Australia

Divided sunburnt country (33): Australia 1916-18: The second conscription referendum viewed from Gippsland: Phil Cashen (Shire at War blog) presents a microcosm of a restless country

National Museum’s Australian Journey looks like a useful resource for secondary and tertiary students

What you may have missed over summer: our new posts in December and January, including a list of the books we reviewed last year

Centenary Watch

New Minister unveils a tapestry and talks about commemoration events in 2018. How long for Dr Nelson? Donations from arms manufacturers to the Australian War Memorial: an interesting point.

Whizzbang of the month

‘In doing this, we want nuance and knowledge, surprises and context and history, because power and influence might not reside where they used to; as identities change, the political assumptions of the recent past should not dictate our perspective on the present. We should be guided by curiosity, not certainty. We like experts, but that’s not enough; we must also ask why more people don’t.’ (Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of The Guardian, on the modern mission of journalism: The Guardian, 16 November 2017)

The Honest History Book

‘Most of all, upsizing [the non-khaki side of our Australian history] means facing up to what Larissa Behrendt calls “the invasion moment”, for “until we do that we will never have found a way to truly share this colonised country”. That invasion of 1788 and its consequences deserve far more of our attention today than do the failed invasion of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and our military ventures since. “Not only Anzac but also” is shorthand for a complex history that deserves exploration, understanding, commemoration and even, sometimes, celebration. Australia is more than Anzac – and always has been.’ (pp. 292-93)

Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

‘Then there is twenty-something Sydney journalist, Kate Aubusson, who asked why the “plucky irreverence” that Australians learn turns “to quivering submission when it comes to Australia’s remembrance of WWI? Why does it feel so wrong to question Anzac?” She described the distorted view of war she received as a child and the nagging feeling that there “had to be more to WWI than these cardboard heroes”. Is this how you remember it or has your experience been different from Kate’s?’ (2nd edition, p. 42. The question is addressed to teacher and student users of the Alternative Guide.)

Write for Honest History

We are always looking for new writers, particularly early career historians, on the range of subjects that pique our interest. Pitch to admin@honesthistory.net.au.

Books wanted for review

In an era when authors and publishers are finding it increasingly difficult to place long-form book reviews, Honest History offers another option. Interested authors and publishers can see the sort of reviews we do (and here’s the list for 2017). Get in touch with admin@honesthistory.net.au to offer books for review.

What’s On

We reckon the best way of keeping up with what’s happening is for readers to send us a note of forthcoming events needing publicity. We could then do a post announcing the event as well as promoting it on Twitter (more than 1800 followers) and Facebook (more than 1000 likes). Contact admin@honesthistory.net.au.

Honest History is a coalition of historians and others supporting the balanced and honest presentation and use of Australian history.Honest History is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act (A.C.T.) 1991
President: Professor Frank Bongiorno; Past President: Professor Peter Stanley; Secretary: Dr David Stephens
Contact: admin@honesthistory.net.au
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