The Honest History Book launched in Sydney with great speech from Associate Professor Michelle Arrow

A wet night in Glebe yesterday saw the Sydney launch of The Honest History Book. Around 80 people braved the rain and found their way to the upper room at Gleebooks, where proceedings were wrangled efficiently by James Ross.

C9NLSEcVoAAg77fDavid Stephens, Michelle Arrow, Vicken Babkenian, Mark Dapin, Paul Daley, Alison Broinowski (NewSouth)

Michelle Arrow from Macquarie University launched the book. Her speech in full is here. (Edited version.) The book, she said, is

a punchy collection of essays by some of our very best historians. This book busts myths and bursts bubbles. It is a history book for our supposedly “post-truth”, “fake news” age, because it insists that the historical stories we tell ourselves as a nation must be based on evidence, not fantasy. In an age where ideology, rather than evidence, has become the filter through which people assess “truth”, it is more important than ever that we historians continue to insist on the importance of making judgements based on evidence.

Co-editors David Stephens and Alison Broinowski discussed the book with authors Vicken Babkenian, Judith Crispin, Mark Dapin and Paul Daley. Questions from the audience followed. Among guests were Kathy Bail, CEO of University of NSW Press, Phillipa McGuinness, Executive Publisher from NewSouth, ace book wranglers Emma Driver and Harriet McInerney from NewSouth, schoolteachers, academics and interested people generally. There were lots of post-launch Tweets.

GleeB1David Stephens, co-editor, and Emma Driver, NewSouth (Judith Crispin)

Next and final stop in the launchathon, Melbourne, 20 April. By the way, the book is selling well and there is considerable media take-up. More information here about the book and the Melbourne launch. If your bookshop lacks stocks, harass them and tell us.

Media representatives wanting to talk about the book should contact The same applies to organisations seeking a speaker from the Honest History group.

13 April 2017

GleeB2Vicken Babkenian, co-author of chapter 3 (Judith Crispin)