The Honest History Book is well and truly out there, presenting the evidence that Australia is more than Anzac – and always has been

Our publisher NewSouth advises us that The Honest History Book is now widely available in book shops ($A34.99, $NZ42.99). We have seen a list of shops so far and are impressed by the initial take-up. (If your shop doesn’t have the book yet, ask them to chase NewSouth.)

There is an electronic (Kindle) version also at $A14.99 which can be pre-ordered through Amazon.

We have a promotion package which gives you an outline of what’s in the book and what people have been saying about it.

Here’s a sample:

The Honest History Book is collective history written by 19 authors. It is an argument about Australia’s past, present and future (‘Australia is more than Anzac – and always has been’) and about the difference between history and myth (honest history is interpretation robustly supported by evidence, myth lacks evidence or distorts it). The chapters in the book are grouped under the headings ‘Putting Anzac in its place’ and ‘Australian stories and silences’.

  • ‘[A] series of compelling, highly readable essays by some of Australia’s most distinguished historians.’ (Michelle Arrow, Macquarie University)
  • ‘[A] primer to fresh and challenging thinking about key moments in the sculpting of our shared identity.’ (Jonathan Green, Meanjin)
  • The Honest History Book introduces some inconvenient truths.’ (Gideon Haigh, author and journalist)
  • ‘The fascinating and vital question this outstanding and highly readable collection poses is whether an honest version of history can displace or modify the comforts and dangers of state-cultivated and politically motivated myth.’ (Robert Manne, La Trobe University)
  • ‘This is collective history at its finest.’ (Melanie Oppenheimer, Flinders University)
  • ‘Timely because it provides a powerful and much needed riposte to the current practice of elevating military history above all other aspects of the nation’s past.’ (Henry Reynolds, University of Tasmania)
  • ‘In making its compelling case for ‘not only Anzac, but also’, this book not only offers a vital corrective to the flimflams and taradiddles of Anzackery, but also gives us a new collection of fascinating essays on Australian history … A timely reminder that there is no such thing as post-truth history.’ (Clare Wright, La Trobe University)


Our authors are Paul Daley, Mark McKenna, Peter Stanley, Carolyn Holbrook, Mark Dapin, Carmen Lawrence, Stuart Macintyre, Frank Bongiorno, Larissa Behrendt, Douglas Newton, Michael Piggott, Burcin Cakir, Vicken Babkenian, Judith Crispin, Rebecca Jones, Gwenda Tavan, Joy Damousi, David Stephens and Alison Broinowski. There is a foreword from Julianne Schultz of Griffith Review.


We are doing three launches: Canberra, 6 April, with Tom Griffiths (ANU) doing the honours; Sydney, 12 April, with Michelle Arrow (Macquarie Uni); Melbourne, 20 April, with Jonathan Green (Meanjin and ABC RN). Details and registration for all three.

Tom Griffiths and Michelle Arrow are among Honest History’s distinguished supporters. Tom Griffiths has been shortlisted for the prestigious University of Melbourne Ernest Scott Prize for his book The Art of Time Travel.

24 March 2017

Media contact: David Stephens


Honest History FINAL front