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Histories of Australia

Stuart Macintyre

28 September 1989
The Oxford History of Autralia. Vol III: 1860-1900 
by Beverley Kingston.
Oxford, 368 pp., £22.50, July 1989, 0 19 554611 3
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The Road from Coorain: An Australian Memoir 
by Jill Ker Conway.
Heinemann, 238 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 434 14244 1
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A Secret Country 
by John Pilger.
Cape, 286 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 224 02600 3
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Convict Workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s Past 
edited by Stephen Nicholas.
Cambridge, 246 pp., $45, June 1989, 0 521 36126 5
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... An older generation of my compatriots would regard an Oxford history of Australia as an oxymoron. Quite early in the preparation of my own volume in the series of that name, I became interested in Bill Somerville, a trade-unionist who for nearly forty years served as the workers’ representative on the industrial tribunal of Western Australia. A skilled craftsman (his union, the Amalgamated Society ...

Founding Moments

Stuart Macintyre

11 March 1993
The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. II, 1770-1860: Possessions 
by Jan Kociumbas.
Oxford, 397 pp., £25, September 1992, 0 19 554610 5
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The Rule of Law in a Penal Colony: Law and Power in Early New South Wales 
by David Neal.
Cambridge, 266 pp., £30, March 1992, 9780521372640
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Waterloo Creek: The Australia Day Massacre of 1838, George Gipps and the British Conquest of New South Wales 
by Roger Milliss.
McPhee Gribble, 965 pp., February 1992, 0 86914 156 2
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Living in a New Country: History, Travelling and Language 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 214 pp., £14.99, July 1992, 0 571 16329 7
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... Tasmania’s prodigal son, Peter Conrad, suggested recently that his island-state had ‘unwritten its own history’ in accordance with ‘a self-protective incuriosity about origins’. Tasmania’s origins lay in an act of genocidal conquest and a penal experiment, both of which were so recent and so omnipresent in their effect as to make recollection intolerable. There are certainly striking instances ...
18 February 1988
The Road to Botany Bay 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 384 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 571 14551 5
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The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. IV: 1901-1942 
by Stuart Macintyre.
Oxford, 399 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 19 554612 1
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The Archibald Paradox: A Strange Case of Authorship 
by Sylvia Lawson.
Penguin Australia, 292 pp., AUS $12.95, September 1987, 0 14 009848 8
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The Lucky Country Revisited 
by Donald Horne.
Dent, 235 pp., AUS $34.95, October 1987, 9780867700671
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... to seek refuge in obscurantism, but a journalist, if he can do nothing else, should resist that temptation. After The Road to Botany Bay, Australian history might as well be left to the historians. StuartMacintyre, author of the fourth volume of the Oxford History of Australia, covers the years 1901-1942 in good plain style, with words like ‘bourgeois’ kept well in check and words like ‘spatial ...

Boomerang

Sylvia Lawson

18 February 1988
Australians: A Historical Library 
Fairfax, Syme and Weldon, AUS $695Show More
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... the limitation of its address to readers who are already culturally privileged. The work, she said, is ‘unlikely to penetrate average Australia’, dominated as it still is by racist mythologies. StuartMacintyre, discussing the whole project, put it succinctly: ‘It’s not easy to do justice to the underdog in a volume with gold-blocked end-leaves.’The contradictions which cut between the ...
20 December 1979
Western Political Thought in the Face of the Future 
by John Dunn.
Cambridge, 120 pp., £8.50
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... theories of democracy, how it works and how it ought to work, and shows that they are of two and only two kinds. There is one family of theories, whose ancestors include Rousseau, Tom Paine and John Stuart Mill, according to which a democracy in good order expresses at the level of government the rational preferences of its citizens. And there is a second family of theories, whose ancestors include ...
16 October 1980
An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy 
by John Stuart​ Mill, edited by J.M. Robson.
Routledge, 625 pp., £15.95, February 1980, 0 7100 0178 9
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... Sir William Hamilton, he would impress upon us many an axiom, many an argument belonging to the great traditions of philosophy ... Sometimes he would wander into irrelevant invectives against John Stuart Mill, who in a footnote had once referred to Bowen ... as ‘an obscure American’. It was Bowen who twenty years earlier had within two years of Mill’s publishing the Examination instituted an ...

By the Roots

Jeremy Waldron

9 February 1995
The Anatomy of Anti-Liberalism 
by Stephen Holmes.
Harvard, 330 pp., £23.95, November 1993, 0 674 03180 6
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... Catholic and the first of six exemplars of anti-liberal sentiment, past and present, chosen by Stephen Holmes for dissection in his Anatomy. The others are Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Alasdair MacIntyre, Christopher Lasch and Roberto Unger. To choose Maistre as one’s point of departure is to set a provocative, not to say lurid tone. There are occasions when he can sound as reasonable in his ...

Shoot them to be sure

Richard Gott: The Oxford History of the British Empire

25 April 2002
The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. I: The Origins of Empire 
edited by William Roger Louis and Nicholas Canny.
Oxford, 533 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924676 9
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. II: The 18th Century 
edited by William Roger Louis and P.J. Marshall.
Oxford, 639 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924677 7
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. III: The 19th Century 
edited by William Roger Louis and Andrew Porter.
Oxford, 774 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924678 5
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. IV: The 20th Century 
edited by William Roger Louis and Judith Brown.
Oxford, 773 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924679 3
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. V: Historiography 
edited by William Roger Louis and Robin Winks.
Oxford, 731 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924680 7
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... how ‘older images of the British as a benevolent ruling society have tended to give way to darker pictures of indigenous peoples displaced.’ Contemporary Australian historians, we are told by StuartMacintyre, have recovered ‘a forgotten history of genocidal expropriation of Aboriginal Australians’. These are welcome contributions, yet neither writer can explain why these issues are so ...

Dr Küng’s Fiasco

Alasdair MacIntyre

5 February 1981
Does God exist? 
by Hans Küng, translated by Edward Quinn.
Collins, 839 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 00 215147 2
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... Karl Adam. To blame the Catholic Church for not abandoning these conceptions in its dealings with Dr Küng is a little like chiding the Third International for not adopting the principles of John Stuart Mill in its dealings with Lukacs. And when therefore John Paul II – who, like Evelyn Waugh, as Randolph Churchill remarked to an earlier Pope, is himself a Roman Catholic – did not respond to Dr ...

Making It Up

Raphael Samuel

4 July 1996
Raymond Williams 
by Fred Inglis.
Routledge, 333 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 415 08960 3
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... own coinage and insofar as it has a lineage it is one which could be traced back to the biological and technological determinism of those ‘proletarian philosophers’ about whom Jonathan Rée and StuartMacIntyre have written so illuminatingly, the writers and lecturers of the Plebs League (one of the many possible feeders of Williams’s thought, as of the adult education movement, who are absent ...

Ayer, Anscombe and Empiricism

Alasdair MacIntyre

17 April 1980
Perception and Identity: Essays presented to A.J. Ayer with his replies to them 
edited by G.E. MacDonald.
Macmillan, 358 pp., £15, December 1979, 0 333 27182 3
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Intention and Intentionality: Essays in Honour of G.E.M. Anscombe 
edited by Cora Diamond and Jenny Teichmann.
Harvester, 205 pp., £16.95, December 1979, 0 85527 985 0
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... ability to produce at intervals representatives who have both made large contributions to academic philosophy and been effective public spokesmen for the secular and liberal causes of their day. John Stuart Mill was one such, and Bertrand Russell another. In our own time, the latest and perhaps the last of this chain of great figures has been Sir Alfred Ayer. Ayer shares with Russell and with Mill not ...

Someone else’s shoes

Geoffrey Hawthorn

23 November 1989
A Treatise on Social Justice. Vol. I: Theories of Justice 
by Brian Barry.
Harvester, 428 pp., £30, May 1989, 0 7450 0641 8
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Innocence and Experience 
by Stuart​ Hampshire.
Allen Lane, 195 pp., £16.95, October 1989, 0 7139 9027 9
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... As Brian Barry suggests, the question of justice arises when custom loses its grip; when the prevailing social myth and what Stuart Hampshire calls its ‘fallacy of false fixity’ – that relations cannot be other than they are – is exposed. This is not to say that new fixed entities are never then proposed to replace the ...

What Philosophers Dream Of

Geoffrey Hawthorn: Bernard Williams

1 July 2015
Essays and Reviews 1959-2002 
by Bernard Williams.
Princeton, 435 pp., £24.95, January 2014, 978 0 691 15985 0
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... the circumstances and the different kinds of claim being made on us; the rights and wrongs of telling a lie depend on what we are being asked and what the consequences of telling the truth may be. As Stuart Hampshire intimated in the LRB more than thirty years ago, the question for Williams was how far he was willing to go with the particular; willing, that is, to accept that to live in a fully human ...
8 September 1994
A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises 
by Stanley Cavell.
Harvard, 196 pp., £20.75, July 1994, 0 674 66980 0
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... Despite obvious exceptions – memoirs by John Stuart Mill and R.G. Collingwood, confessions by St Augustine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau – autobiography is not a genre that comes naturally to most philosophers. The typical modern philosopher – the ...

Thou shalt wage class war

Gareth Stedman Jones

1 November 1984
Proletarian Philosophers: Problems in Socialist Culture in Britain 1900-1940 
by Jonathan Rée.
Oxford, 176 pp., £15, February 1984, 0 19 827261 8
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... and Philosophy as it had been expounded at pit-heads. As far as I can remember, nothing concrete emerged from the meeting and I never heard anything more of it. It was only recently when I read StuartMacintyre’s impressive study, A Proletarian Science: Marxism in Britain 1917-1933, that I began to realise that I had been a witness to the last and all but posthumous echo of what had been one of ...

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