By Fay Anderson

ISBN-10: 0522851533

ISBN-13: 9780522851533

ISBN-10: 0522851541

ISBN-13: 9780522851540

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Extra info for An historian's life : Max Crawford and the politics of academic freedom

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He warned that this type of ‘ineffective revolution followed by prolonged disorder might give new strength to such a movement’. ’ He emphasised that if this turmoil could not be controlled, the balance between revolution and counter-revolution would alter. The article described the chaos, confusion and inevitability of war. The scenario he offered was not remarkable. He cited Azana’s ominous prediction that: ‘This is Spain’s last chance to revive without Civil War’. Crawford also considered a number of likely fates, including ‘counter revolution with intervals of military dictatorship’.

After his retirement he would ponder the historian’s role and the legacy of his Spanish studies. ‘They underlined the historian’s fruitful role, if it needed underlying’, he wrote ‘as being the illumination, by means of accurate and percipient charting, both of situation and response, of the drama of necessity and freedom. 144 It is an analytical and dispassionate piece devoid of the partisan sympathies displayed by many writers who had lived in Spain. Crawford accepted the plausible comparisons between Spain in 1936 and Russia in 1917, but emphasised his interest was restricted to Spain.

Vital questions remain about his sudden productivity and the reasons for his compulsion to write about contemporary issues. He might have felt that, with his new appointment, he enjoyed a greater authority to comment. 135 The crisis in Abyssinia had enduring ramifications far beyond Italy’s invasion and eventual victory. 136 40 An Historian’s Life Crawford was not the only Australian writing about an approaching war. The literary critic, Nettie Palmer, who was living in Europe at the time, experienced the events at a perilously close range.

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An historian's life : Max Crawford and the politics of academic freedom by Fay Anderson


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