2016 Ernest Scott Prize Winner Announced as Professor Stuart Macintyre – Prize $13,000
The inaugural Ernest Scott Prize was announced earlier this week at the reception of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick History Lecture at the University of Melbourne. Two of the shortlisted candidates were our own – Professors Joy Damousi and Stuart Macintyre. In awarding the prize, Professor Nicholas Brown, from the ANU, commended all shortlisted candidates, and the prize went to Professor Stuart Macintyre. Congratulations Stuart!
The Ernest Scott Prize is awarded to work based upon original research which is, in the opinion of the examiners, the most distinguished contribution to the history of Australia or New Zealand or to the history of colonisation. This prize is proudly supported by the History Program in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne.
WINNER Stuart Macintyre, Australia’s Boldest Experiment: War and Reconstruction in the 1940s (NewSouth Publishing, 2015)
Stuart Macintyre’s account of Australia’s engagement with the prospects of post-war reconstruction through the 1940s is masterful in coverage and assured in narrative. An account of complex policy formulation and political debates, the book remains driven by a close attention to the personal investments in, and experience of, the profound uncertainties of wartime and unprecedented opportunities to address entrenched social and economic concerns. Rising above the polarity of ‘ideals vs pragmatism’, Macintyre evokes a nation and a diverse corps of people – politicians, officials, business and community leaders, academics, populists among them – that would be tested by those prospects for reform as much as they would embrace or debate them. The central theme of leadership running through this book is treated with admirable subtlety and balance. That approach, in addition to comprehensive account of the times, will be among the enduring contributions of Australia’s Boldest Experiment.
Judges: Professor Giselle Byrnes (Massey University, New Zealand) and Professor Nicholas Brown (Australian National University, Canberra).