Posts Tagged ‘scribe’

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]


Invitation: Launch of ‘Mateship: A Very Australian History’

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

It is my pleasure to invite you to the launch of ‘Mateship: A Very Australian History’. The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Federal Opposition will formally launch the book at Readings St Kilda, 1.30pm for 2pm on Sunday 25th January. Please see here for more details. Please remember that it is essential to rsvp. I look forward to seeing you all there on the day.

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.