Edited By Peter Browne and Seumas Spark

Monash University Publishing

I Wonder Cover Image

‘This is a rich, kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved and brilliant historian. In exploring the life and work of Ken Inglis, the book illuminates a whole generation of historical scholarship.’ Tom Griffiths

‘A notable humanist and historian sliced and diced, with deep insights into a vanishing Australia and its analysts.’ Michael Cannon



Ken Inglis was one of Australia’s most creative, wide-ranging and admired historians. During a scholarly career spanning nearly seven decades, his humane, questioning approach — summed up by the recurring query, ‘I wonder…’ — won him a large and appreciative audience. Whether he was writing about religion, the media, nationalism, the ‘civil religion’ of Anzac, a subject he made his own, or collaborating on monumental histories of Australia or the remarkable men aboard the Dunera, he brought wit, erudition and originality to the study of history. Alongside his history writing, he pioneered press criticism in Australia, contributed journalism to magazines and newspapers, and served as vice-chancellor of the fledgling University of Papua New Guinea. This collection of essays traces the life and work of this much-loved historian and observer of Australia life.

About the Editors

Peter Browne is editor of the online magazine Inside Story. As editor of Australian Society, he published a series of Ken Inglis’s articles between 1986 and 1992.

Seumas Spark is a co-author of Dunera Lives (Monash University Publishing, two volumes, 2018/2020). He had the privilege of working with Ken Inglis on these books.


Annette Becker, Frank Bongiorno, Peter Browne, Martin Crotty, Joy Damousi, Robert Dare, Glyn Davis, Graeme Davison, Gavan Daws, Raelene Frances, Bill Gammage, Judith Keene, Diane Langmore, Shirley Lindenbaum, Janet McCalman, Stuart Macintyre, Ian Maddocks, Marian Quartly, Bruce Scates, Seumas Spark, Peter Stanley, Bob Wallace, Sue Wallace, Jay Winter.

Available via Monash University Publishing