2003 Professor Geoffrey Blainey: When History was rising fast: Australian history and the economic historians 1930-1960

About the lecture

Professor Blainey will look at some of the leading Australian historians of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, including Keith Hancock EOG Shann, Brian Fitzpatrick, RM Crawford and the young Manning Clark.  Each was a specialist in or profoundly influenced at the time by economic history - a field of history which has since waned in Australia.  The work of these historians was also characterised by a strong interest in democracy.  The surge in economic and the need to locate primary sources were in turn important factors in the creation of wat we now know as the Noel Butlin Archives Centre at ANU.  The lecture will also glace at the way the study of Australian history has altered, for better or worse, since that time.

About the speaker

Professor Blainey is one of Australia's best known historians and commentators.  His first book was published when he was in his early twenties, and since then he has written another 30.  This book The Tyranny of Distance, now in its 21st edition, gave Australia one of its most widely quoted phrases and his most recent book, A short History of the World, won a wide circle of reader around the globe.  For twenty years he held chairs in history and economic history at the University of Melbourne.  He has been the chairman of many institutions and is at present on the Council of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and a variety of other civic bodies.  In 2000 he received Australia's highest honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia, in recognition of hi service to academia, research and scholarship and his leadership of public debate on fundamental social and economic issues.

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