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)

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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
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    McLean, D. (2013). Too much memory: Writing the history of Australian-American relations during the Howard years. In J. Beaumont, & M. Jordan (Eds.), Australia and the World: A Festschrift for Neville Meaney (1 ed., pp. 237-257). Sydney University Press.