Ron Williams, is a retired teacher, mathematician and political scientist. He loves research and has created a series of books which tell the social history of Australia from 1939 to 1969. To obtain the material in these books, he read newspapers, magazines and other material, collecting the major events and ideas from each year. The books are a culmination of these newspaper articles, particularly editorial pieces and letters to the editors. By putting the books together in this way, it isn’t a history of events but rather an insight into what the nation was thinking and feeling.
The book is divided into months of the year, with introductory newsworthy items at the start of each chapter and overall concluding thoughts on the year at the end of the book. Williams hasn’t just focussed on political or historical events, but also includes more mundane happenings and humorous anecdotes.
The books are an easy to read, insight into the daily lives of people during the particular year. They are Australian focussed, particularly Sydney, but also note what was happening elsewhere in Australia and on the world scene.
I was particularly interested in 1966 as it was shortly after my parents immigrated to Australia as “10-Pound-Poms”.
The books are self-published and the formatting isn’t great, but otherwise, they are an interesting look at the social history of Australia during these years.