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The Fifth Estate

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Past Imperfect: Writing Australian History

Listen to Past Imperfect: Writing Australian History

For this Fifth Estate discussion, we're joined by two prominent historians for a conversation about their careers, and how they have each navigated the changing tropes and traditions of Australian history writing. What role do contemporary historians play in shaping the way all Australians remember – and reckon with – the past?

Photo of Sally Warhaft, Clare Wright and Geoffrey Blainey

From left to right: Sally Warhaft, Clare Wright and Geoffrey Blainey

Geoffrey Blainey is the author of more than 40 books, including The Rush That Never EndedThe Story of Australia’s People, and, perhaps most famously, The Tyranny of Distance, which has been in print since 1966. Clare Wright is an eminent academic and broadcaster and the Stella Prize-winning author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and You Daughters of Freedom. Both writers have brought their research to large and enthralled readerships.

How does writing about the past shape the possibilities of the future? Blainey and Wright join Sally Warhaft to discuss their approaches to writing Australian history: warts, beauty spots and blind spots.

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.