Geoffrey Bolton Lecture

2017 Geoffrey Bolton Lecture


'From Bolshevism to Populism: Australia in a Century of Global Transformation'  was the topic of the 2017 Geoffrey Bolton Lecture.

One of Australia’s most eminent historians, Professor Stuart Macintyre, delivered the 2017 Geoffrey Bolton Lecture on Tuesday evening 14 November 2017 at 6pm at the Government House Ballroom in Perth.

His speech described the history of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the influence of Marxism and Communism in the decades to come, including in Western Australia; drawing on the life of WA unionist Paddy Troy and delving into the reasons why someone like him would have been attracted to this movement in times past. He aslo spoke of Geoffrey Bolton as someone who took a middle way between Communism and conservatism, outlining some of the reasons why he followed a different path to Paddy Troy. Professor Macintyre's address also covered current so-called populist movements; describing their rise since the fall of Communism in Europe in the 1980s and 90s.

Please follow the link to read the pdf of Professor Macintyre's address: 'From Bolshevism to Populism: Australia in a Century of Global Transformation'  (280KB). The Lecture was recorded for broadcast and podcast by ABC Radio National's Big Ideas program and was broadcast on Tuesday evening 23rd January 2018. It is also availlable for podcast through the RN Big Ideas website.

Professor Macintyre is Emeritus Laureate Professor of the University of Melbourne and is Professorial Fellow of its School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.


 Geoffrey Bolton respondsThe Geoffrey Bolton Lecture series

Each year the State Records Office hosts a lecture in honour of the distinguished Australian historian, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Bolton AO, who passed away on 3 September 2015. The Lecture series recognises Professor Bolton’s long period of use and promotion of archives, his service on various committees of the State Archives, and his overall contribution to the promotion of Australian history and culture.
The stated aims of the Geoffrey Bolton Lecture are twofold: to encourage the expression of ideas and debate about the meaning and nature of history, culture and society, grounded in archival research; and to provide archival and historical context to national debate on contemporary issues.
Since 2004 the lecture series has lifted the profile of archives and record keeping in Australia, and promotes debate about the use and interpretation of archives, in what is now a nationally important forum.


  See previous Geoffrey Bolton Lecture speakers and lecture topics