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The Rise of the Insider: Memoirs and Diaries in Recent Australian Political History


  • Sean Scalmer

    1. School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne
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      My thanks to Frank Bongiorno, Jackie Dickenson, Nathan Hollier, Stuart Macintyre, Murray Goot and anonymous referees for comments on an earlier draft.


The memoirs and diaries composed by politicians represent an increasingly important form of history. This article provides a comprehensive survey of such writings in Australia. It suggests that they have become more popular, diffuse, confessional, immediate, ambitious, interventionist and cynical over recent decades. The significance of these developments is considered and some tentative explanations advanced.