Conservatism and economic crisis

Many on the left hope that economic crises will radicalize voters to the left. Doug Henwood and Paul Krugman disagree. There is evidence from American history in their support, the first American presidential election at which the Democrats were clearly to the left of the Republicans on economic issues was 1896, but at this election […]

Labor, science and the 1940s

Some recent reading has shed light on how we evaluate Labor’s most productive decade that of the 1940s. Almost finished Boris Schedvin’s Shaping Science and Industry a study of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the predecessor of the CSIRO.

Anzacs, class and nation

Teaching Australia and the Two World Wars I confront again the puzzle of Australian enthusiasm to sign up for European wars. Recent Australian nationalists have deplored this: Gallipoli is a cinematic expression of this nationalist despair. If race was as central to Australian identity in the early twentieth century then why did Australian sign up […]

From Milne Bay to 9/11

Why might people like us machine gun drowning sailors (or torture prisoners) ? Reading Mark Johnston’s Fighting the Enemy: Australian soldiers and their adversaries in World War II which sheds some light on this question. The hierarchy of enemies is not surprising, Italians were despised, Germans respected (and postwar polls showed they were popular migrants), […]

600 odd words on the ALP and others

Lenin famously penned 600 odd words on the ALP, Rick Kuhn writes here on the fate of this article. Labour History in 2011 will publish a special issue on the state of labour history in Australia. I have submitted a proposal to be the author of the article on labour and politics. Below are my […]

Culture & class in NSW 1930 to 2007


Very busy with the end of semester rush but the just published analysis of the social composition of NSW state electorates based on the 2006 census provides an irresistible diversion (tip Penny Sharpe) from paperwork and St. Kilda’s defeat. I spent far too many hours on the exhausting task of assembling a similar database from […]

Jack Lang, Sarah & Barack

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Joke of the Day Even if Sarah Palin’s resignation speech wasn’t quite as bad as Jon Stewart’s version it was still woeful.  An interesting article in Boston Phoenix highlights the self-contained world of movement conservatives and the money to be made […]