John Rickard is the author of two prize-winning books, Class and Politics: New South Wales, Victoria and the Early Commonwealth, 1890-1910 and H.B. Higgins: The Rebel as Judge. Janet McCalman has described his innovative book about the family of Alfred Deakin, A Family Romance, as ‘elegant, discreet and imaginative’ and ‘scholarship of skill and sensitivity’.
Rickard has written widely on Australian culture and biography. In his youth he worked as an actor and singer. He is an emeritus professor at Monash University.