One of the connecting strands in this major biography of the Australian historian W. K. Hancock (1898–1988) is the question of his shifting reputation. Hancock was a son of the vicarage, who took out a brilliant First at the University of Melbourne. Arriving in Oxford, via a Rhodes Scholarship, as ‘a dreadfully purposeful young man’, he went on to a glittering career.
The historian is like an actor on a revolving stage. He has a brief time in which to recite his words. He’s got to hold the audience. He must also hope that he has used the time on the stage to teach and write about things that really matter ... He must ...
During the second half of the 20th century, scandals arising from abuses suffered by some children in residential care in the UK encouraged the uncovering of the experiences of looked-after children in the past.
Over the past few decades New Zealand has undergone a unique process of historical reappraisal. A nation that at one time liked to boast of having the finest ‘race relations’ in the world is today learning to come to terms with a rather different reality. For many Maori the process of colonisation left behind an enduring trail of dispossession, marginalisation, poverty and bitterness.
The Caversham Project has been a long-running and detailed historical investigation of work and community, social structure, class and gender in the southern suburbs of Dunedin, New Zealand. With a strong, indeed rigorous, quantitative basis the project has generated an impressive list of books, essays and working papers over the last 20 years.
In Ocean Under Steam Frances Steel explores the impact of the 19th-century sea transport revolution in one of the extremities of the British Empire, the South Pacific Ocean. Published as part of the Manchester University Press ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series, under the general editorship of John MacKenzie, this is a self-consciously ‘de-centred’ imperial history.
The last decade has witnessed a flowering of interest in the history of women and cancer, alongside studies on the history of cancer and related topics.(1) While there might be historical trends that explain the attention paid to certain topics in medical history at particular times, the literature on the history of cancer deals with an inherently controversial disease
even from his mid-twenties, he was a relentless self-promoter, a writer possessed of an inner conviction to succeed and an overwhelming hunger to be heard (p. 226)
Ron Palenski has long been recognised in New Zealand as one of this country’s more astute sporting journalists. The Making of New Zealanders is based on his recent doctoral thesis, and it is pleasing to see that large topics can be dealt with in the context of a PhD.