We are sorry to hear that the eminent Australian socialist and labour historian Stuart Macintyre has died aged 74.
Professor Macintyre published extensively on the history of Australia and the Australian Left, and as co-author of The History Wars (2003) provided the leading academic challenge to conservative narratives of the country’s history. For many, however, his greatest work is his account of the emergence of modern Australia after the second world war and Labor’s role in its achievements, Australia’s Boldest Experiment: War and Reconstruction in the 1940s (2015).
At the time of his death, Professor Macintyre was Emeritus Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, and the long-serving President of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. He had previously served as President of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (2007-2009), and was a life member of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
While Professor Macintyre’s academic work focused primarily on Australia, he received his PhD from Cambridge University in 1975, under the supervision of the labour historian Henry Pelling, and was a research fellow at St Johns College between 1977 and 1978. This led to the publication of two works on British history: A Proletarian Science: Marxism in Britain 1917-1933 (1980); and Little Moscows: Communism and Working-Class Militancy in Inter-War Britain (1980).
History Australia, the journal of the Australian Historical Association, described Professor Macintyre as ‘a giant of Australian history’ and said that it had been proud to publish his work.
In an online statement, the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History said: ‘The ASSLH mourns the death of Stuart Macintyre, our president and dear friend. Stuart was a giant among Australian historians. His guidance, support and mentoring of countless colleagues and hundreds of postgraduate students was legendary. He will be greatly missed.’
Vale Stuart Macintyre: a history warrior who worked for a better Australia (The Conversation, 23 November 2021).