Many tributes are flowing for the historian Stuart Macintyre. He was a prolific historian, both as author of his own volumes and as a collaborator with other historians. His best known works are probably The Oxford History of Australia, Volume 4, 1901–1942: The Succeeding Age (1986), A Concise History of Australia (2016, 4th edition) and Australia’s Boldest Experiment: War and Reconstruction in the 1940s (2015). The second volume of his history of the Communist Party The Party: The Communist Party of Australia from heyday to reckoning is scheduled to be published early next year, coming 23 years after the first volume The Reds: The Communist Party of Australia From Origins to Illegality (1999). As a co-writer and editor, he was a historian of historians, as in A History for a Nation: Ernest Scott and the Making of Australian History (1994) and The Discovery of Australian History 1890-1939 (1995) which I reviewed here. He was keenly aware of the discipline of history and the uses to which it has been put, as in The Historian’s Conscience (2004) and The History Wars (2003) which he wrote with Anna Clark.
Three fitting obituaries by Janet McCalman, Brian Aarons and Tim Rowse are reproduced on Open Labour’s page: https://www.openlabor.net.au/2021/11/24/stuart-macintyre-a-history-warrior/
Always a loss when we lose someone of his calibre.
In Australia’s Boldest Experiment, Macintyre examined how a country damaged by both world wars became a comfortable and growing society. My family worked closely with John Curtin, Ben Chifley and Dr Coombs and they would have loved to have read about how those greeat men re-made the country after all that struggle and sacrifice. I don’t know when Macintyre wrote the book, but it unfortunately it wasn’t published until relatively recently. Vale Stuart!