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The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft (Tom Griffiths, Black Inc.)

History, writes Tom Griffiths, is ‘the fundamental fabric of a common humanity’. In The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft, the Canberra-based academic and historian examines how writers from across Australia have worked to weave and revivify our knowledge of the past. Mixing biography and memoir with criticism that is historical and literary, Griffiths explores the work of Inga Clendinnen, Judith Wright, Eric Rolls and Geoffrey Blainey, among others, to show the ‘interplay between evidence and imagination’ in their work: to Griffiths, the rigour of a verifiable fact is augmented by the artistry of its use by these historians. Griffiths sheds light on Australia’s historical tradition—the shifts of orthodoxy and vantage point, the upheavals of technology and societal change, the relevance and scope of its endeavour—and argues for its necessity and virtue. Suitable for lovers of Australian history, biography and culture, The Art of Time Travel is a graceful and lively work animated by Griffiths’ experience and enthusiasm.

Patrick Mullins is a Canberra-based academic and writer

 

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