Archive for January, 2015

One Publisher and PC Anzac
January 6, 2015

I’ve reached page 82 of Carolyn Holbrook, Anzac: The Unauthorised Biography (Sydney: NewSouth, 2014) only to see that the next page is page 35.  From there the reader may reread pp. 35 through 82.  The argument–such as it is–is rejoined on page 131.  This remarkable performance on the part of the printer and publisher reflects quite well the quality of the argument of the author which has received loud approval from various academic historians of a particular political stamp (not that there seem many if any exception possible).  The book is notable for what it leaves out much more than for what it includes.

One of the cover blurbs comes from Jay Winter.  I wonder: has anybody every conducted a critical reading of the work of this historian?  His eccentric definition of transcendence should set alarm bells ringing  .  .  .  but apparently not.  After all, like his Australian counterparts, Winter reckons some people unworthy of genuine attention.  Curious, is it not, that these same people of the past may prove either to have been a substantial minority of public opinion or roughly half of the population here and there in Australia.  Still, we must not let empirical evidence get in the way of contemporary political imperatives.  I suppose that publishers who cannot put the physical book together probably help in this.  Then again, when the books are as tedious as Holbrook’s, what does it matter?