Dr David Day
Honorary Research Associate
College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce
Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of Archaeology and History
B.A. Hons (Melbourne); Ph.D. (Cambridge)
Membership of professional associations
Chair, Australian Society of Authors, Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences in Australia
Area of study
Dr David Day has been a research fellow at Clare College in Cambridge, an Associate Professor at Bond University and an ARC Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe. He has twice been a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo and also served for three years as the Keith Cameron Professor of Australian History at University College Dublin and been a visiting professor at the University of Aberdeen. His many books include a study of Menzies and Churchill; official histories of the Australian Customs Service and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; biographies of Australian prime ministers Andrew Fisher, John Curtin, Ben Chifley and Paul Keating; a history of Australia (Claiming a Continent), which introduced the concept of 'supplanting societies' ; a thematic history of the world (Conquest: How societies overwhelm others), which set the notion of 'supplanting societies' into a global context; the first international history of Antarctica; a study of the Antarctic explorer, Douglas Mawson; and ground-breaking books on the Second World War. He has won or been short-listed for several literary prizes, including the South Australian Festival Prize for Literature, the National Biography Award, the NSW Premier's Literary Prize, NSW Premier's History Award, the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies National Awards, the Queensland Premier's Literary Award and the Fellowship of Australian Writers Book of the Year.
Australian Government and Politics
- Prime Ministers
- Second World War, Customs History, Meteorology, Exploration, Political Biography, Leadership
- Antarctica, Genocide
Consultancy for official histories, biographies and television documentaries.
Paul Keating: The biography, HarperCollins, Sydney, 2015
Flaws in the Ice: In search of Douglas Mawson, Scribe, Melbourne, 2013
Antarctica: A biography, Random House, Sydney, 2012; Oxford University Press, New York and London, 2013
Andrew Fisher: A Life, HarperCollins, Sydney, 2008, Short-listed, National Biography Award; short-listed, Adelaide Festival Award for Literature.
Conquest: How societies overwhelm others, Oxford University Press, London and New York, 2008, HarperCollins, Sydney, 2005, published in Spanish by Crítica (2006), in Korean (2007) and Czech (2007). Short-listed, NSW Premier’s Literary Prize.
The Weather Watchers: A Centenary History of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne University Publishing, 2007
The Politics of War, HarperCollins, Sydney, 2003, paperback published August 2004.
Chifley, HarperCollins, Sydney 2001; paperback, 2002, Short-listed, NSW Premier’s History Award, Honourable Mention, Centre for Australian Cultural Studies National Awards for ‘An Outstanding Contribution to Australian Culture’, 2001
John Curtin: A Life, (HarperCollins, Sydney, 1999; paperback, 2000. Won Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award
Claiming a Continent: A New History of Australia, HarperCollins, Sydney 1996; 4th ed. 2005. Danish edition, Roskilde University Press, 2003. Awarded the South Australian Festival Prize for Literature, 1998
Contraband and Controversy: The Customs History of Australia from 1901, AGPS Press, Canberra, 1996
Smugglers and Sailors: The Customs History of Australia, AGPS Press, Canberra, 1992. Short-listed, Fellowship of Australian Writers for its Book of the Year 1992
Reluctant Nation: Australia and the Allied Defeat of Japan, 1942-45, Oxford University Press, 1992
The Great Betrayal: Britain, Australia and the Onset of the Pacific War, 1939-42, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1988, Norton, New York, 1988; OUP, 1993
Menzies and Churchill at War, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1986; Paragon Press, New York, 1987; Oxford University Press, 1993; Simon and Schuster, Sydney, 2001
A biography of Bob Hawke
A history of genocide