Book Review : Sam Hutchinson. Settlers, War, and Empire in the Press: Unsettling News in Australia and Britain, 1863–1902.

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview article

Abstract

Sam Hutchinson’s Settlers, War, and Empire in the Press: Unsettling News in Australia and Britain, 1863–1902 examines the ways in which newspapers, both in Australia and to a lesser extent in Britain, constructed multiple, competing and complementary, identities among the Australian public in the second half of the nineteenth century. Hutchinson sees newspapers as ephemeral commercial products that, in order to resonate with their audiences, articulate novelty within the framework of prevailing assumptions. For this reason, an investigation of the ways in which the press described imperial wars in which Australians participated reveals the complicated attitudes Australians and, on occasion, metropolitan Britons held toward Australia’s place within the empire. Focusing on three case studies, Hutchinson shows that newspapers helped to foster “links between communities narrower and broader than the individual colony or nation” (7): variously, imperial, racial, antipodean, and colonial/provincial. At the same time, Australia’s own colonial history was often forged through a cultivated amnesia about the role of violence and dispossession of the aboriginal peoples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-641
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Historical Review
Volume125
Issue number2
Early online date13 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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