Posts Tagged ‘dyrenfurth’

The Monthly blog

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

I started writing a fortnightly blog for The Monthly, one of Australia’s best publications, in late January. Here are the nine pieces published thus far from Labor’s travails to the Bali executions, tax policy and Ricky Muir.

Loser takes all’ 17 June 2015.

‘The prime minister of the Opposition’, 2 June 2015.

‘Labor’s British Blues’, 19 May 2015.

‘Capital Punishment is wrong’, 30 April 2015.

‘Taxing Times’, 9 April 2015.

‘Even Laborites get the blues’, 26 March 2015,

‘Why rev-head Ricky Muir is really a Labor man’, 6 March 2015,

‘Labor must go boldly’, 19 February 2015.

‘Dead Generations’, 28 January 2015.

Australia Day Eve launch of Mateship: A Very Australian History

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

My book was launched in Melbourne by the Hon. Bill Shorten, Leader of the federal Opposition on Australia Day Eve. The Sunday Age published an opinion piece from the book on the day which can be found here. Bill’s excellent speech and the extensive coverage which followed his re-ignition of the republic debate can be found here, here, here and here. The Chifley Research Centre’s Michael Cooney did a sterling job as MC – see his contribution here.

Reviews of Mateship: A Very Australian History

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

I’ve been rather slack updating this site but here are a number of mostly excellent review of my book:

The Australian: ‘[a] provocative and insightful book’ and ‘the first significant exploration of what the author terms “our secular egalitarian creed” since Russel Ward’s path-breaking 1958 work The Australian Legend.’

The Conversation (14.2.2015): ‘a thoughtful and thorough contribution to the literature on Australian identity.’

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph (22.2.2015): ‘An interesting take on Australian history.’ [no link]

Virgin Australia’s Voyeur Summer magazine: ‘Dyrenfurth turns the history of mateship upside-down as he explores the history of this Aussie ideal’. [no link]

The Age/Sydney Morning Herald: ‘[A] detailed, nuanced and readable study, which charts the evolution of the concept in all its complexity’.

Brisbane’s Courier-Mail: ‘Laudably [Dyrenfurth’s] history and study of mateship is not partisan. His view is balanced and he acknowledges that neither side of politics has exclusive rights to mateship … [it] belongs as equally to the right as to the left and for everyone in between’. [no link]

Cargo Art magazine: ‘Nick Dyrenfurth has provided a valuable account of mateship, a concept which curiously dominates how Australians think about themselves but which can be very divisive and contested. The centenary of Anzac will no doubt be dominated by the idea of mateship.’

Canberra Times: ‘Dyrenfurth’s scholarly but ultimately fond analysis of …”Australia’s pre-eminent national ideal” never tells us what to think … But we do to his credit, come away from the natty little book with a clearer notion of how and why mateship concepts and words came to arrive here and to be kept so busy in our national conversation.’

Cooma/Monaro Express: ”This is a fascinating history, not just of mateship, but of Australia.’ [no link]


Pre-publication review of Mateship: A Very Australian History

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Courtesy of Books+Publishing here is a very pleasing pre-publication review of my new book Mateship: A Very Australian History (out in January):

Mateship: A Very Australian History (Nick Dyrenfurth, Scribe)
Review by Chris Saliba

Surveys of Australians continue to show that ‘mateship’ is one of our country’s defining qualities. But what does it actually mean? In this provocative history, academic Nick Dyrenfurth traces Australian mateship in all its permutations. Unsurprisingly, the honour-among-thieves mateship of the convicts proves starkly different to the mateship branded by former Prime Minister John Howard, who harnessed it politically. The early definition of mateship was as a temporary economic partnership, where tramping workers pooled their resources. Writers and poets, notably Henry Lawson, developed a romantic notion of mateship during the 19th century. Both sides of politics, labor and conservative, further adopted mateship as a propaganda tool with socialism claiming mateship as central to its ethos before conservatives took it back during World War I. By the 1950s and 60s, writers such as Donald Horne and Manning Clark were casting a more critical eye over mateship, seeing it as sentimental, racist and sexist. Nick Dyrenfurth finds Australian mateship to be a compelling national narrative, created by fiction writers and politicians, rather than a lived reality. He provides a thoughtful cultural reading of the literature and history surrounding mateship, much of which will surely be contested. This is essential reading for anyone interested in one of Australia’s key national myths.

Chris Saliba is co-owner of North Melbourne Books and a freelance reviewer.