Official history is a misunderstood genre of historical writing, which attracts much negative comment from (non-official) historians but about which very little detail is actually known. This book examines the development of official history programs in Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand over the course of the twentieth century, looking at the ways in which they developed and the contributions each made to their respective national historiography. The second part of the work develops some themes from the first and takes the official histories of the Second World War as case studies. Drawing on programs in Australia, Britain, and the United States, these essays examine the relationship between the histories, the historians, and their sponsoring institutions. They assess the impact of the histories on historical understanding of the Second World War. They also consider the impact that contemporary events during the Cold War had on the writing of the official history.