History

History

Mary Ann and Captain Piper by Jessica North

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Colonial Australia contains many stories. Some are dominant and so are often seen as the only stories of the colony’s founding years while others have bubbled below the surface waiting for an opportunity to speak and be heard. Jessica North’s biography of Mary Ann Sheers who became the lover and later

Read More »
History

Persians by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Western understanding of the ancient Persian kings has always been skewed by histories written by Greek scholars such as Herodotus whose understanding has been incorporated as our own. Llewellyn-Jones sets out to correct this mindset by supplying an authentic Eastern vision. I’m not convinced that he has been successful. No doubt

Read More »
History

This Mortal Coil by Andrew Doig

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Though Death is one of the certainties of life along with taxes, it’s not often that we have an opportunity to read about its history. I originally thought that Andrew Doig was going to describe the various practices of different cultures to Death and how people respond when their loved one

Read More »
History

Australian Architecture by Davina Jackson

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Wherever we go in the world, we are surrounded and often entranced by the buildings that make up cities and communities. We marvel at their construction whether it is the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China or the houses and public buildings of Paris, Rome or New York City.

Read More »
History

The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Sullivan

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Few people of my generation will fail to recognize the name Anne Frank. Anne was a thirteen-year-old Dutch girl whose family took steps to hide in an annex to Otto Frank’s business premises when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in the early 1940s. The Franks were Jews and therefore certain to

Read More »
History

The Vanishing by Janine di Giovanni

Reviewed by Richard Tutin It was either fortuitous or a coincidence that, when Janine di Giovanni’s book The Vanishing -The Twilight of Christianity in the Middle East arrived on my desk, a statement from the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches of Jerusalem was published concerning the current threat to the Christian presence in the

Read More »
History

The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs by Marc David Baer

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders What did the Ottomans ever do for us? Best known for harems, sieges of Vienna and Armenian genocide, their history has largely come to us through a European lens. A lens that has often reduced the Ottoman Empire to a series of clichés and myths that fail to acknowledge the intricacies

Read More »
History

Girt Nation by David Hunt

Reviewed by Ian Lipke David Hunt, author of Girt, True Girt, and now Girt Nation, has been flying beneath the flag of public notice for far too long. First of his books in this series to appear was the very funny, 2013 award-winning Girt which was shortlisted for the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), the

Read More »
History

The Shortest History of War by Gwynne Dyer

Reviewed by Clare Brook Everything has changed except our way of thinking.  Albert Einstein Thomas Hobbs wrote that human life without a central government would be ‘nasty, brutish and short!’ (Leviathan, 1651) Whereas, Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed Noble Savages lived free and equal having little to do with war.  It turns out that neither philosopher got

Read More »
History

The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins by Peter FitzSimons

Reviewed by Ian Lipke There is a slight chance that someone has come across Peter FitzSimons’ writing for the first time with the publication of his latest book The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins. This is part of the book’s title, the remainder “Australia’s Greatest Explorer” I find an unconscionable thing to write. FitzSimons is

Read More »
History

Twelve Caesars by Mary Beard

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Everybody knows what Julius Caesar, Caligula and Nero, to name just a few Roman emperors, looked like. We’ve all seen sculptures of them, some created by well-known artists. They’ve all been on television. Of course, we know what they look like.  Mary Beard, variously a leading classicist and cultural commentator, a

Read More »
History

Vice-Regal by Philip Payton

Review by Richard Tutin The Governors of our Australian states are often regarded as mysterious beings. After all, what do they do? What is their purpose? Philip Payton has taken up the challenge of demystifying state governors through this history of the Governors of South Australia. Though he focuses on only one state he does,

Read More »
History

The Battle of the Bismarck Sea by Michael Veitch

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders A 1943 US short film entitled “Bismarck Sea Victory!” is an object lesson in not letting the facts interfere with a good story. Comparing it to Michael Veitch’s written version of the same battle is the perfect advertisement for why we still read books. The battle took place in March 1943

Read More »
History

Too Much Cabbage and Jesus Christ by Catherine Bishop

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The arresting title of this book comes from a 1928 account of an Aboriginal job applicant who had ‘escaped’ from Annie Lock’s mission because there was ‘too much Jesus Christ and cabbage.’ This is an indication of how cautious one must be in examining Annie Lock’s work in the missions. Sources

Read More »
History

Tongerlongeter by Henry Reynolds and Nicholas Clements

Reviewed by Ian Lipke How easy it is to remain in ignorance or completely forget important events, incidents that happened in history that should never have been allowed to recede from our memories? Who can admit to knowing the details of the Black War of the late 1820s that scourged the southeast of Tasmania? I

Read More »
Scroll to Top