Pam Sharpe and Michael Hess (Eds), Business and Labour History in Tasmania, Special Issue of Tasmanian Historical Studies

By MacIntyre, Stuart | Labour History - A Journal of Labour and Social History, May 2012 | Go to article overview

Pam Sharpe and Michael Hess (Eds), Business and Labour History in Tasmania, Special Issue of Tasmanian Historical Studies


MacIntyre, Stuart, Labour History - A Journal of Labour and Social History


Pam Sharpe and Michael Hess (eds), Business and Labour History in Tasmania, special issue of Tasmanian Historical Studies, vol. 15, 2010. pp. viii + 214. $30 paper.

This collection begins and ends with reflections on the decline of economic history and its implications for Tasmanian historiography. Michael Hess recalls a time when economic history was an essential part of faculties of economics and commerce, and Tim Jetson surveys the literature in economic and business history for Australia and Tasmania. In the final essay, Pam Sharpe recalls R.M. Hartwell, whose book on The Economic History of Van Diemen's Land 1780-1850 is a distinguished example of the genre. Though she never met Hartwell, Sharpe gives a perceptive account of the career that took him from Glen Innes and the University College of New England to Nuffield College, Oxford, and the Chicago Business School. Hartwell has a place in the collective memory of labour historians as the dean of humanities and social sciences at the University of New South Wales who stood up for Russel Ward when the university vetoed Ward's appointment. Hartwell's own resignation took him to Oxford, where he became a champion of the optimistic case for the effect of the industrial revolution on standards of living, a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and effectively abandoned research. …

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