James is the author of the first book on the history of the Australian heritage movement. It is based on a decade of original historical research conducted across the nation. He explores how architects, planners, authorities and communities have shaped the historic environment. It includes original accounts of the Burra Charter, Australia ICOMOS, Australian Heritage Commission, National Trust and much more. It makes him a leading authority on Australian heritage practice.
Values in Cities: Urban Heritage in Twentieth Century Australia is a seriously important work. It’s the first time that a complete book-length historical account of the rise of heritage and the heritage movement in Australia from a national perspective has been written. For this alone, it will become the key reference text on the subject. Its legacy is already assured.Professor Philip Goad, Chair of Architecture, University of Melbourne
‘There is yet no comprehensive history of the Australian heritage movement’, I wrote in an interim account of the topic in A Heritage Handbook (1991). Now, at last, there is. James Lesh has more than filled a gap in the scholarly landscape; he has provided us with a deeply researched and critical account of a revolution in popular attitudes and professional thinking about Australia’s urban heritage. His book is based on extensive archival research and oral histories.Emeritus Professor Graeme Davison, Monash University