Book review: The High Commissioners: Australia's representatives in the United Kingdom, 1910-2010

Waters, Christopher 2010, Book review: The High Commissioners: Australia's representatives in the United Kingdom, 1910-2010, Australian journal of politics and history, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 475-476.

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Title Book review: The High Commissioners: Australia's representatives in the United Kingdom, 1910-2010
Author(s) Waters, Christopher
Journal name Australian journal of politics and history
Volume number 56
Issue number 3
Start page 475
End page 476
Total pages 2
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2010-09-01
ISSN 0004-9522
Keyword(s) Arts & Humanities
Social Sciences
Political Science
Government & Law
Summary The post of Australian High Commissioner in London has always been one of the most important and prestigious of Australia’s diplomatic posts. Indeed, as The High Commissioners demonstrates, for much of the one hundred years for which the post has existed it was an influential link between two parts of the British Empire, rather than a diplomatic mission in a foreign nation. It was for a long time a diplomatic post, but of a hybrid nature; an evolving child of empire. This handsomely produced book is a scholarly study of the position and of the many high commissioners. The chapters, which examine all the high commissioners and a range of related subjects, have been authored by many of Australia’s leading historians of empire and of foreign policy, with the most recent high commissioners covered by former government officials. While the book is designed as a celebration of the centenary of the Australian High Commission in London it is not a work of hagiography. Important analyses are presented of the strengths and weaknesses of many of the key high commissioners, such as George Reid, Andrew Fisher, S.M. Bruce, Alexander Downer senior and John Armstrong. Indeed, the book leaves the strong impression that some of the high commissioners, especially after the Second World War, were often well behind the Australian people in appreciating how the relationship between Australia and the United Kingdom was changing. The research and writing is of a uniformly high standard with each chapter providing many interesting insights into the history of Australian foreign policy.
Language eng
Field of Research 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio Economic Objective 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category C4 Letter or note
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, Wiley
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