John Curtin’s Letter of Inspiration

John Curtin and US General Douglas MacArthur meet at Parliament House on 26 March 1942.
NAA: A1200, L36449

This is a letter sent to John Curtin by Chris Bennett in 1915 (President Trades Hall Council) quoted in David Day’s biography of John Curtin that I find inspirational…(p.213).

…keep your pecker up and continue to fight and you will find that later on that you will be glad that you went away. You remember this and you will find it true. The field is large and your work is of the best. There are fine days ahead for you and those persons who do not value good work will be ashamed to think that they let you go.

History is for the Living

David Day

I am on my second Labor Biography at the moment being David Day’s biography of John Curtin. It is hard for my generation to imagine any Australian leader coming out of the Socialist left and also coming from Victoria. I wonder what John Curtin would have thought about globalisation and the Internet? The book is an exhaustive study by a true historian of the old left but lacks the buoyancy of Don Watson’s biography of Keating.

I wonder if there is any innovation by historians in Australia or if the methodological rigidity of Keith Windshuttle has reduced the profession to little more than an artless bureaucratic door stop.