Too much memory: Writing the history of Australian-American relations during the Howard years

David McLean

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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    Abstract

    The first body of writing on Australian-American relations during the period of Prime Minister John Howard's government reflects a broad misunderstanding of the history of Australia's relationship with the United States. The works of those scholars, journalists and former diplomats who have written on the subject reveal the persistence of interpretive assumptions and explanatory patterns that have their origins in the Cold War years. These works fail to provide a convincing explanation for the Howard government's decisions to 'intensify' Australia's relations with the United States, reflected in Australia's role as one of the most enthusiastic and uncritical supporters of the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. An understanding of the Howard policies requires an examination both of the role of cultural values and beliefs and of the triumph of mismemory in the form of persistent Cold War myths about the nature of the alliance over history in the government's decision making.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAustralia and the World
    Subtitle of host publicationA festschrift for Neville Meaney
    EditorsJoan Beaumont, Matthew Jordan
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherSydney University Press
    Chapter12
    Pages237-257
    Number of pages21
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9781743320150, 9781743320006
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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