The History Question: Who Owns the Past?: Quarterly Essay 23

Inga Clendinnen

The History Question: Who Owns the Past?: Quarterly Essay 23
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The History Question: Who Owns the Past?: Quarterly Essay 23

Inga Clendinnen

In QE23, acclaimed writer and thinker Inga Clendinnen looks past the skirmishes and pitched battles of the history wars and asks what’s at stake - what kind of history do we want and need? What are the differences between memory, history and myth? Clendinnen discusses what good history looks like and, more specifically, what good Australian history looks like. She looks at the recent spate of books on our beginnings as a colony, as well as the vogue for popular story-telling accounts of key events in our past, such as Gallipoli. Why is there now a gulf separating popular writers and the historical professions? This is a characteristically original and eloquent essay that looks anew at one of the most divisive topics of recent times- how we as a nation remember the past.

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