Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don Aitkin's What was it all for?

This is one of a number of a number of parallel posts recording my reactions to Don Aitkin's What was it all for? The Reshaping of Australia. (Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2005). I will add a full list of posts later.

Because the book centres on social change in Australia over fifty or so years as seen in part through the eyes of the Armidale High School leaving certificate class of 1953, it is very relevant to the history of New England.

I had intended to finish my current history of New England in 1967, the year of the loss of the the New State plebiscite, with just an overview pointing to the future. I chose this date in part because it represented a key loss, in part because the later period enters what we can think of as current affairs rather than history.

Reading Don, I think that I need to carry the story through at least in sketch form to the end of the twentieth century.

This really is a good book.      

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