Articles tagged with: Books
ALONG with Geoffrey Blainey and Geoffrey Bolton, Alan Frost is the leading historian of the foundation and development of Botany Bay.
Indeed some of the work in Botany Bay: The Real Story was published in Frost’s seminal 1980 book Convicts and Empire: A Naval Question and in his 1994 book Botany Bay Mirages: Illusions of Australia’s Convict Beginnings .
For the past 35 years, Frost, emeritus professor of history at La Trobe University, has toiled in archives here and overseas (especially the Public Record Office, now the National Archives, in London) to …
SOME locations are perfect for reading particular books; those that foster an extra connection to history as lived by the protagonists.
Now that the labyrinthine corridors of Old Parliament House have been opened to all, climb the rickety staircase to the press gallery, Ross Fitzgerald and Stephen Holt’s book in hand, to reach the cramped den of power of their vulpine subject.
Among the evocatively recreated rooms and the very pipework of the building that, we learn, literally leaked the scoops from the House of Representatives below, the cigaretteaddled voice of ‘The …
A JUSTICE of the High Court of Australia from 1987 to 2003, the redoubtable Mary Gaudron was the first woman to hold this lofty position. She was only 44 when appointed, after the death of Lionel Murphy.
It is fascinating to learn that when Mary was eight, a chance encounter in her NSW outback town of Moree with federal Labor leader H. V. Evatt led to him posting her a copy of the Australian Constitution. It was this thoughtful gesture that led her to aim for a career in law.
The red-haired …
THIS is an utterly fascinating book. At one level, the story of the murder of 21 Australian nurses on Radji Beach, Banka Island, on the morning of February 16, 1942, is a minor part of the much wider story of Australians in the Pacific war.
But at another, deeper, level it is a compelling tale of what happened to scores of young women after the dramatically unexpected fall of Singapore to the Japanese. It is also a powerful counter-factual history of what might have been had things been different.
Among hundreds of …
THE stages of Barry Humphries is an utterly engrossing biography of Australia’s greatest comic genius. Anne Pender’s prose style is often one-dimensional and rather bland yet, curiously, it offers a highly effective counterpoint to the astonishing material that comprises Humphries’s life and work.
John Barry Humphries was born in suburban Melbourne on February 17, 1934, to Eric and Louisa Humphries. The young Humphries was brought up in an upmarket housing estate that his father was instrumental in constructing. Deeply middle-class Camberwell was a “dry” suburb in which, by law, there were …
‘Ah, here’s the apostate.’ The voice was a cigarette-flavoured drawl from a slight figure with a hat tipped on his head. This, in the Bulletin office in March 1978, my first day as a journalist after six years with the Labor Council — hence the ‘apostate’. The speaker was Alan Reid, breaker of tabloid stories, most of them harmful to the Australian Labor Party, and, according to Paul Keating, an ‘infamous Labor hater’.
Labor wasn’t his only victim. John Grey Gorton, Liberal prime minister from 1968 to 1971, felt Reid had …