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Historian's Life: Max Crawford and the Politics of Academic Freedom, An

Max Crawford was one of Australia’s pre-eminent historians. As both a participant in and observer of many decisive episodes of the era; Europe in the midst of the Depression, America and Russia at the height of World War II, post-war reconstruction and the Cold War in Australia, Crawford was regarded as a radical‚ and outspoken defender of intellectual autonomy.

This biography considers Crawford as an historian and a public intellectual. It relates his experiences as a student at Sydney and Oxford, a struggling teacher during the Depression, as the head of the History School at the University of Melbourne, a diplomat in wartime Russia, and a Cold War victim and accuser. The study of Crawford’s life provides insight into one man’s experience in the midst of political turmoil and the limits of intellectual autonomy on Australian campuses, as well as the suspicion of liberal intellectuals in Australian public life, the repression of academic radicals and ASIO’s attempts to stifle dissident voices.

Spanning his life (1906 -1991), Crawford’s political and intellectual journey suggests the changing nature of Australian progressive liberalism and the precarious state of academic freedom.

Publication Details
Name of Publisher: Melbourne University Press
Place of Publication: Carlton, Vic.
Resource Type: Monograph
ISBN: 0522851533
EISBN: 0522851541
Publication Year: 2005
Subject Covered: Biography; Modern history