Reviewed by Rod McLary Social history, which came to prominence in the 1970s as a discipline, sought to document large social changes and reconstruct the experiences of ordinary people through the course of those changes. There is a subset of Social history which also came to some prominence at the same time – women’s history
Reviewed by Clare Brook In this memoir Hilton Koppe reflects on his life as a country doctor of forty years. When Hilton received a diagnosis of PTSD from his doctor he was at a loss, how this could be happening to him? Koppe seemed to think that being a doctor should equate to being invincible.
Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Quaint Deeds is a memoir of A.J. “Sandy” Mackinnon’s school teaching years in Australia and England, in the 1980s and 90s. From the subtitle and the cover, it is apparent that the memoir is more whimsical than macho, with topics and activities that all speak of a zest for life. A.J.
Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Kiera Lindsey has taken the little primary material available to produce a book about Adelaide Eliza Scott Ironside (1831-1867), Australia’s first locally born professional female painter, who owes some of her notoriety to an English poet’s description of her as having enthusiasm and wild ways. Is the title of this book
Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The much admired historian, Emeritus Professor of History at Monash University, Graeme Davison, when bequeathed a 200 year old grandfather clock from his great-aunt Cissie, was inspired to research his family. The warmth with which he pursued his mission is obvious and his delving into Scottish, Industrial English and early Australian
Reviewed by Antonella Townsend The cover of Robert Skinner’s memoir depicts a Siamang Gibbon with a face more human than ape and giving the impression he had recently evolved from a Praying Mantis. This might account for the somewhat bemused expression – there was probably an identity crisis in progress. Together with the title, I’d
Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Deborah FitzGerald, senior journalist, editor and writer who had worked across major media organisations was asked by the Mackellar family to undertake the project of providing the first definitive biography of Australian poet and writer Dorothea Mackellar. This undertaking led to the author’s Doctor of Arts thesis and then this book.
Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Imagine a time when furniture came already built. A time before flatpack and online retail. When you could see and touch solid wood and dovetail joints. Imagine a time when banks had branches in country towns. And there was a human bank manager who could sit you down in a comfortable
Reviewed by Wendy Lipke My Mother, The Spy was written by Freda Marnie Nicholls in association with Cindy Dobbin, the daughter of Mercia Masson. Fifty years after her mother’s death Cindy was given a book called Australia’s Spies and their Secrets which mentions her mother. At first ‘Cindy found the idea of her mother being
Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is the background story to the defamation trial between decorated Australian soldier Ben Roberts-Smith VC and the media companies that employed journalists Chris Masters and Nick Mackenzie. This is the version by veteran investigative reporter Chris Masters, who had first-hand experience in Afghanistan, having been embedded there with Australian troops.
Reviewed by Wendy Lipke In the book, I am Tim, Peter Rees uncovers the influences which shaped the life of politician Tim Fischer, whose resignation after three decades was greeted with an outpouring of emotion from all sides of politics. Peter Rees was federal political correspondent for Melbourne Sun News-Pictorial, West Australian and the Sunday
Reviewed by Richard Tutin When the time to retire from full time work arrives what does one do? For Diedre Macken and her husband Roger Johnstone the answer to this question came from an unlikely source. Encouraged by Macken’s mother Ann they decide to establish a vineyard on part of Cockatoo Hill a 100-hectare property
Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Shauna Bostock, a former Primary School teacher, through curiosity about her family, researched and completed a PhD in Aboriginal history. This book is the story of her personal research. Unlike other previous works with a similar purpose, Reaching Through Time is written from the perspective of an Aboriginal historian who has
Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Because the cover of this book, A Farming Life, told me that it contained tales of resilience from inspiring rural women, I initially thought that each of the six chapters would highlight just one specific woman and her achievements. What I found in each chapter was not just the accomplishments of
Reviewed by E.B. Heath. Hearing … is a specialised form of touch. Although classified as Memoir, The House with all the Lights On, is so much more, a literary Tardis. In two-hundred-and forty-pages Jessica Kirkness’ writes: a personal memoir, a brief biography of her deaf grandparents, social and political experiences of the Deaf Community, well-researched