VINTAGE RED

by Rowan Cahill There is a vast amount of material, published and otherwise, relating to the history of the Communist Party of Australia/CPA (1920-1991). Examination of the footnotes to Stuart Macintyre’s first volume of the history of the CPA, The Reds (1998), attests to this, as does familiarity with the two resource bibliographies of CPA... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Radical History: Thinking, Writing and Engagement

By Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill   Kicking away the props In recent years, in various places and on our blog “Radical Sydney/Radical History”, we have written about radical history. As radical historians we seek out, explore, and celebrate the diversities of alternatives and oppositions, arguing there is a basic tension between radical history and... Continue Reading →

James Walter on The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia by Frank Bongiorno

Book Review: Frank Bongiorno, The Eighties: The Decade that Transformed Australia (Black Inc., Melbourne, 2015), xiii and 370 pp. ISBN 9781863957762. Hb.$45.00. By James Walter    Frank Bongiorno’s history of the 1980s is an ambitious exercise in marrying cultural and social history with politics and economics. It is wide-ranging in its attention to dominant mores,... Continue Reading →

Bobbie Oliver on Australia’s Secret War by Hal Colebatch

Book Review: Hal Colebatch, Australia’s Secret War: How unionists sabotaged our troops in World War II (Quadrant Books, Sydney, 2013), 340pp, $44.95 hard back. By Bobbie Oliver I have always regarded with some scepticism books whose titles include words such as ‘Secret’ or ‘Untold’, because they bear the connotation that someone has deliberately obscured the... Continue Reading →

Heather Goodall on The Pearl Frontier by Julia Martinez and Adrian Vickers

Book Review: Julia Martinez and Adrian Vickers, The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian Labor and Indigenous Encounters in Australia’s Northern Trading Network (University of Hawa‘ai Press: Honolulu, 2015), 240pp, $50 Cloth. By Heather Goodall This book should be on the ‘read urgently’ list of every labour historian. While it unsettles many disciplinary conventions, it does so with... Continue Reading →

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