The history profession and the wider history community have lost a great advocate and generous contributor with the death of Stuart Macintyre. Among his many gifts to history was his support for the RHSV, particularly in advising on heritage issues and acting as referee and reviewer for the Victorian Historical Journal. His assistance as Chair of the Victorian Heritage Council was invaluable to the society’s Heritage Committee after its formation in 2015. It’s hard to believe that such a vibrant presence and repository of knowledge and wisdom has gone while he still had so much to give. However, the body of work he leaves us is a great legacy. In recent years there appeared what is perhaps his greatest work, Australia’s Boldest Experiment: War and Reconstruction in the 1940s. And most recently the second volume that completes his authoritative history of the Communist Party of Australia was published. Stuart was able to hold a copy in his hands in the week before he died. But all those publications capped a much larger body of work covering a wide range of subjects of special relevance to Victoria. Stuart was hopeful of a miracle cure up the end, and so were most of his friends. It was not to be, but during his lifetime he achieved more than most of us and leaves us with a rich and fertile body of work to explore and develop further, as he would have wished.
Written by Judith Smart
Co-editor of Victorian Historical Journal