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History > Australian

From the author of The Shortest History of Europe, acclaimed historian John Hirst, comes this fresh and stimulating approach to understanding Australia's past and present. Hirst asks and answers questions that get to the heart of Australia's history: Why did Aborigines not take up farming? How did a penal colony change peacef... read more

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Never before has Australia enjoyed such economic, commercial, diplomatic and cultural clout. Its recession-proof economy is the envy of the world. It's the planet's great lifestyle superpower. Its artistic exports win unprecedented acclaim. But never before has its politics been so brutal, narrow and facile, as well as being ... read more

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The sky at the top end is big and the weather moves like a living thing. You can hear it in the cracking air when there is an electrical storm and as the thunder rolls around the sky...When Cyclone Tracy swept down on Darwin at Christmas 1974, the weather became not just a living thing but a killer. Tracy destroyed an entire ... read more

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In The Hard Sell, creative director Dee Madigan uses her trademark humour and down-to-earth approach to unveil the world of political advertising. Drawing on real-life stories from her own recent Federal and State campaigns, she gives us fascinating industry insight into: How political ads are designed to work; Who are they d... read more

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The facts are shocking. The treachery is chilling. The fallout ongoing. During the 1950s-60s, with the blessing of Prime Minister Robert Menzies, the British government used Australia as its nuclear laboratory. They exploded twelve atomic bombs on Australian soil - at the Monte Bello Islands, Emu Field and Maralinga. Sixteen ... read more

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Girt. No word could better capture the essence of Australia. In this hilarious history, David Hunt tells the real story of Australia's past from megafauna to Macquarie, the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are. Mark Twain wrote of Australian history: 'It does not r... read more

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'The message was powerfully clear. If you threatened the harmony of the Joke, you didn't last long.' Continuing on from the bestselling Three Crooked Kings, Jacks and Jokers opens in 1976. Terry Lewis, exiled in western Queensland, is soon to be controversially appointed Police Commissioner. As for the other two original Croo... read more

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How has the Fairfax empire arrived at its current shabby, sorry state - and what does its demise mean for the future of independent journalism? A decade ago Fairfax Media was one of the most powerful institutions in the country; staffed by gun reporters, funded by its 'rivers of gold', offering up high quality, fearless journ... read more

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Author: Claire Wright
Category:

 Australian

Awards:Winner of Stella Prize 2014.

The Eureka Stockade. The story is one of Australia's foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there. What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learnt about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if there were women and children... read more

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This is a fantastic visual throwback to the 'Harbour City' in the 1950s and 60s, with never before seen images gathered by vintage photograph collector Ian Collis. Breathtaking photos of Sydney's most valuable landmarks provide a retrospective insight into the architecture, automobiles, fashions and popular pastimes of Sydne... read more

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In the months following his resignation as PM in late August 1941, Menzies swayed between relief at his release from the burdens of office as PM and despair that his life at the top had come to so little. Many followers of Australian political history, including Liberal party supporters, forget that Robert Menzies had many ye... read more

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Author: Patti Miller
Category:

 Australian

Awards:Stella Prize longlist 2013

For 40,000 years the Central NSW area of Wellington was Aboriginal - Wiradjuri - land. Following the arrival of white men, it became a penal settlement, mission station, gold-mining town and farming centre with a history of white comfort and black marginalisation. In the late 20th century, it was also the subject of the first... read more

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Books of speeches are rarely published as a compendium of work by one person. After Words is unique in Australian publishing by virtue of its scale and range of subjects, and that all the speeches are the work of one eye and one mind: former Prime Minister Paul Keating. Each speech has been conceptualised, contextualised and ... read more

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Following the success of his A Short History of the World, eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey abridged his account of the grand adventure of human history to create an even more accessible version of his absorbing work. A Short History of the World traces the story of the world's people during the last four million years, beg... read more

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Australian life has seen many changes in the last century. We have gone from scattered colonies to federated nation, from bush pioneers to suburbanites, and along the way there have been fascinating shifts in how we dress, eat, travel, entertain ourselves and bring up our families. The Way We Were covers key moments in our po... read more

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'At its core, The Black War is a story about two peoples who just wanted to be free of each other...sooner or later Europeans and Aborigines were bound to clash, but it was Tasmania's unique circumstances that turned this encounter into a 'war of extermination'.' Between 1825 and 1831 close to 200 Britons and 1000 Aborigines ... read more

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The Gatekeepers examines the position of chief of staff to the Australian Prime Minister from the perspective of key individuals who have held it. Exploring the support needs of Australian political leaders, it traces the forces that have shaped the growth and specialisation of the Prime Ministers' Office since Gough Whitlam ... read more

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The processes required to make a humble stainless steel teaspoon are remarkably complicated and every stage involves risk, coal, energy, capital, international trade and finance. Stainless steel cutlery has taken thousands of years of experimentation and knowledge to evolve and the end result is that we can eat without killin... read more

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In November 1941 HMAS Sydney, the pride of Australia's wartime fleet, and its crew of 645 disappeared without a trace off the Western Australian coast. All that was known was Sydney had come under fire from the German raider HSK Kormoran, which also sank. After numerous unsuccessful searches from the mid 1970s onwards, the Fi... read more

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