The Shortest History of the Soviet Union | Sheila Fitzpatrick | AWWhistory

1980 should have been a good year for the Soviet Union. Black Inc. has been publishing books in their Shortest History series since 2012. The Shortest History of the Soviet Union by Shelia Fitzpatrick is the sixth book to be published. My studies (at school and university) focused on Russian history leading up to and … Continue reading The Shortest History of the Soviet Union | Sheila Fitzpatrick | AWWhistory

Wolf Hall Companion | Lauren Mackay #AWWliterarycompanion

Lauren Mackay has created a very appealing companion book, to have to hand, whilst reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy. I love beautifully produced and packaged books - this is definitely one. Now that I have reread and read all three Wolf Hall books, I suspect I will not need to read them again and … Continue reading Wolf Hall Companion | Lauren Mackay #AWWliterarycompanion

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting by Judith Brett

From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage by Judith Brett was a surprise bestseller at work in the week leading up to the recent NSW state elections. I'll be curious to see if it has the same surge during the weeks leading up to our Federal elections in May.Brett has written a fascinating and informative book about … Continue reading From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting by Judith Brett

The Ides of March

I've had a peculiar day.People have been sharing their tales of woe and weirdness with me all day.Acquaintances, not quite strangers on the street, but close enough, sharing intimate, private details with me. I've been hugging people left, right and centre and listening to the most extraordinary stories.All of this weirdness got me thinking about … Continue reading The Ides of March

barrangal dyara (skin and bones) Jonathan Jones

I had a rather unexpected, almost obsessive response to Jonathan Jones' installation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney last year. It touched me in ways that I'm still finding hard to catch and define. My fascination kicked in at several levels: the fire the architecture the history the cultural aspect the loss the healing the … Continue reading barrangal dyara (skin and bones) Jonathan Jones

Dark Emu Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident? by Bruce Pascoe

Dark Emu Black Seeds challenges the orthodoxy of how Australia was settled and what the settlers actually saw when they arrived. To the victor goes the spoils...as well as the right to write history their way. Reading E.H. Carr's What is History? during my first year at Uni was the first time I had cause … Continue reading Dark Emu Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident? by Bruce Pascoe

The Australian Dream: Blood, History and Becoming by Stan Grant

The Australian Dream: Blood, History and Becoming by Stan Grant is the feature essay in Issue 64 (2016) of the Quarterly Essay.Journalist Stan Grant received a lot of unexpected publicity in 2016 when a speech he gave at the Sydney Recital Hall in 2015 about the Australian dream and what it actually looks like to the … Continue reading The Australian Dream: Blood, History and Becoming by Stan Grant

The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia by Bill Gammage

The extraordinary thing about Bill Gammage's award winning book, The Biggest Estate on Earth, is how obvious what he is saying really is when you look at the records - the letters, the journals, the paintings and sketches of early colonial times in Australia.How on earth did we not see this before?In every early convict … Continue reading The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia by Bill Gammage