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by Rowan Cahill Back in the 1980s, the autodidact bookseller Bob Gould pressed a book into my hands, as was his way whenever I visited the Aladdin’s Cave rabbit warrens of his Sydney bookshop. “Comrade, you’ve got to read this”, usually his way of recommending the latest or neglected anti-Stalinist publication. This time it was… Read More

Democratic Opposition to War The 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns: Impacts and legacies

Conference: 20 May 2017, 9am-4.30pm, Siteworks, 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick 2017 marks the centenary of the defeat of the 1917 conscription plebiscite. During 1917, in the midst of the war, Australian anti-conscription campaigners succeeded in defeating the introduction of conscription for a second time. This was a unique example of popular opposition to conscription in the countries engaged in WW1,… Read More

Vale Sigrid McCausland

Frank Bongiorno   Many of us owe a very great debt to Dr Sigrid McCausland, whose untimely death on 30 November 2016 has been widely mourned by her many friends and colleagues in the archival and historical communities. The biographical notes at the end of Light from the Tunnel, a history of the Noel Butlin… Read More

History and the Working Class Now: the Collective Impulse, Tumult and Democracy

Terry Irving Terry Irving was invited to address the Sydney Historical Research Network in March 2017, as part of a session on ‘Histories of Class Now’. The other speakers were Hannah Forsyth and Elizabeth Humphrys. Each of them was asked to say something about their current research. A revised version of his address, followed by… Read More

Hinterland: A Memoir

John Myrtle  Review of Chris Mullin, Hinterland: A Memoir (London: Profile Books, 2016), pp. 271. £20 cloth There is something unusual about a politician who when preselected for parliament would be described as ‘a certifiable lunatic’ by his party leader; and who some years later would be labelled by Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper as a… Read More

North on Cusack

By Rowan Cahill When Yarn Spinners was initially published in 2001 by University of Queensland Press, it was lengthily titled Yarn Spinners. A Story in Letters: Dymphna Cusack, Florence James, Miles Franklin. Marilla North was credited as ‘Editor’.  The title partially explained the contents of the book, but did not do justice to the nature… Read More

Public Seminar: “Social Movements, Archives and Memory”

Melbourne University’s School of Historical and Philosophical Studies is running a Public Seminar on “Social Movements, Archives and Memory” – Wednesday 8 February 2017, 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Arts West Building, Lectorial Room 156, North Wing, The University of Melbourne, Parkville. This event will bring together a variety of people working with social movement archives in Melbourne. Each will give a short presentation about their work followed by a… Read More

The Conscription Conflict and the Great War

By Michael Hamel-Green Review of The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, edited by Robin Archer, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot and Sean Scalmer (Monash University Publishing: Clayton, 2016), paper $29.95. The First World War was to take the lives of eleven million soldiers on both sides, seven million civilians, and, as a further consequence, the… Read More

A review of Gareth Stedman Jones, “Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion”

By Allan Patience Compared to Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx is perhaps the most misused and abused of this trinity of early and most original of social and political theorists of modernity. All three were profoundly disturbed by the emerging trajectories of capitalism. All three were deeply pessimistic about its future (in Weber’s case… Read More