Geoffrey Norman Blainey AC is a prominent Australian historian. He attended Wesley College and the University of Melbourne. He was appointed to a teaching post at the University of Melbourne in 1962, becoming Professor of Economic History in 1968, Professor of History in 1977, and then Dean of Melbournes Faculty of Arts in 1982. From 1994 to 1998 Blainey was foundation Chancellor at the University of Ballarat.His first major project in the 1950s was, as an author and researcher working on the history of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company, at Queenstown, Tasmania when a significant number of the older residents could remember the beginnings of the community.
The resultant book is one of the few company and local histories in Australia to achieve six editions. He has since published 32 books, including his highly acclaimed A Short History Of The World. His works have ranged from sports and local histories to interpreting the motives behind British settlement of Australia in The Tyranny of Distance, covering over two centuries of human conflict in The Causes of War, and examining the optimism and pessimism in Western society since 1750 in The Great See-Saw.Blainey has, at times, been a controversial figure too.
In the 1980s, he criticised the level of Asian immigration to Australia and the policy of multiculturalism in speeches, articles and a book All for Australia. He has been closely aligned with the former Liberal-National coalition government of John Howard in Australia, with Howard shadowing Blaineys conservative views on some issues, especially the view that Australian history has been hijacked by social liberals. As a result of these stances, Blainey is sometimes associated with right-wing politics.Blainey has been an important but low-key contributor to the debate over Australian history since British settlement, often referred to as the History Wars.
Blainey coined the term the Black armband view of history to refer to those historians and academics, usually leftist, who accused European Australians of genocide against Aborigines. Blainey referred to the contrasting positive histories as the three cheers school. Although Blaineys book Triumph of the Nomads was considered to be a scholarly study into the history of Australias original inhabitants, his opinions opposing High Court decisions in favour of Aboriginal land rights put him in the line of fire and led to accusations of racism.