Author Archives: Henry Reynolds
I was astonished! An SBS news report about the Turnbull visit to Washington declared that the two countries were celebrating their hundred years of alliance. Where had this extraordinary snippet of history come from, I wondered? I then discovered that … Continue reading
Much discussion has been generated by the recently released Defence White. There were several penetrating essays in Pearls and Irritations. But looking at the text as a historian it seemed that some of the most interesting observations passed without notice. I … Continue reading
The Australian military featured heavily again in our celebrations of Australia Day 2018. There were Army parades in Canberra and the Navy on show in Sydney Harbour. The militarisation of Australia and the language of war has become the new … Continue reading
In a letter written in August 1855 to his colleague John Bright, the great free trade liberal, Richard Cobden, expressed his hostility to Britain’s involvement in the Crimean War. ‘And yet I doubt’, he observed, ‘if there be a more … Continue reading
The release by Newcastle University’s Centre for 21st Century Humanities of a map of colonial frontier massacres has attracted a burst of media attention. It draws national interest back to those questions that were highlighted during the history wars of … Continue reading
The commemoration of the centenary of the battle for Beersheba illustrates many features of the progressive militarization of Australian history. No other aspect of our past attracts the lavish funding provided by the federal government. The cost of the commemoration … Continue reading
The controversy about confederate monuments in the southern states erupted in May this year while I was in the United States. I was impressed by the extent and the vigour of the debate. In the back of my mind I … Continue reading
So we have the anomalous situation of a projected citizenship test which large numbers of indigenous people could not pass.
Controversy about Australia Day intensifies. The ABC’s Triple J is consulting its listeners about moving the popular Hottest 100 Countdown from January 26th. Debate is taking place in council chambers across the country. Melbourne’s Yarra Council was savaged by Prime … Continue reading
When we examine the violations of law when the British took possession of eastern Australia in 1788, it’s little wonder that a growing number of people are seeking a date other than January 26 to celebrate Australia Day.
Australia is engaged in a long cavalcade of military commemoration. It has been advancing since the 1990’s. Government largesse has speeded it on its way. War is now widely seen as the defining collective experience. The national spirit, the argument … Continue reading
This article by Henry Reynolds was initially posted in September last year. John Menadue Australia is obsessed with war. For a generation, federal governments have funded an intense program highlighting the importance of our military history. It has reached into … Continue reading