Australian

Our Australian section contains Australian indigenous, social, environmental, and political history, as well as biography, pictorial books, and Australian current affairs.

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Rusted Off: Why Country Australia Is Fed Up
Cover Image, The Fatal Shore

Gabrielle Chan
Random House
ISBN 9780143789284
Trade Paperback 2018
Price $AU 34.99
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Telling the story of Australia as it is today, Gabrielle Chan has gone hyper-local. In Rusted Off, she looks to her own rural community’s main street for answers to the big questions driving voters. Why are we so fed up with politics? Why are formerly rusted-on country voters deserting major parties in greater numbers than their city cousins? Can ordinary people teach us more about the way forward for government?


On Borrowed Time

Cover Image, On Borrowed Time

Robert Manne
Black Inc.
ISBN 9781760640187
Trade Paperback 2018
Price $AU 34.95
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In On Borrowed Time, Manne applies his brilliant mind to the topics that have shaped our world over the last five years, including climate change, the media, Australia's asylum seeker policy, and Wikileaks. This provocative and challenging book features essays on Donald Trump's alleged links to Russia, Malcolm Turnbull's leadership, the ideas driving Islamic State, and a searing critique of Jonathan Franzen's views on climate change activists.


Silent Invasion
Cover Image, Silent Invasion

Clive Hamilton
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN 9781743794807
Paperback 2018
Price $AU 34.95
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In 2008 Clive Hamilton was at Parliament House in Canberra when the Beijing Olympic torch relay passed through. He watched in bewilderment as a small pro-Tibet protest was overrun by thousands of angry Chinese students. The authorities did nothing about it, and what he saw stayed with him. In 2016 it was revealed that wealthy Chinese businessmen linked to the Chinese Communist Party had become the largest donors to both major political parties. Hamilton realised something big was happening, and decided to investigate the Chinese government's influence in Australia. From politics to culture, real estate to agriculture, universities to unions, and even in our primary schools, he uncovered compelling evidence of the Chinese Communist Party's infiltration of Australia.


Burke & Wills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Australia's Most Famous Explorers
Cover Image, Burke and Wills

Peter Fitzsimons
Hachette Australia
ISBN 9780733640797
Trade paperback 2018
Price $AU 35.00
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Strongly grounded in empirical research and context, Burke & Wills has much to commend it. It will undoubtedly please the author's established readership, and its enthusiastic and colourful prose style will no doubt serve to encourage younger readers to develop a passion for Australian history. - Weekend Australian


Dark Emu
Cover Image, Dark Emu

Bruce Pascoe
Magabala Books
ISBN 9781921248016
Paperback 2018
Price $AU 19.99
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Judges for 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing - behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.


Tracker

Cover Image, Tracker

Alexis Wright
Giramondo Publishing Co
ISBN 9781925336337
Trade Paperback 2017
Price $AU 39.95
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Tracker is a collective memoir of the charismatic Aboriginal leader, political thinker, and entrepreneur who died in Darwin in 2015. Taken from his family as a child and brought up in a mission on Croker Island, Tracker Tilmouth returned home to transform the world of Aboriginal politics. He worked tirelessly for Aboriginal self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles, including Director of the Central Land Council. He was a visionary and a projector of ideas, renowned for his irreverent humour and his anecdotes.

Winner of the Stella Prize 2018.


Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia

Cover Image, Deep Time Dreaming

Billy Griffiths
Black Inc.
ISBN 9781760640446
Trade Paperback 2018
Price $AU 34.95
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Deep Time Dreaming is about a slow shift in national consciousness. It explores what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership and identity. It brings to life the deep time dreaming that has changed the way many Australians relate to their continent and its enduring, dynamic human history. When John Mulvaney began his fieldwork in January 1956, it was widely believed that the first Australians had arrived on this continent only a few thousand years earlier. In the decades since, Australian history has been pushed back into the dizzying expanse of deep time.


The Bible in AustraliaCover Image, Story of Australias People Vol 1

Meredith Lake
NewSouth
ISBN 9781742235714
Trade Paperback 2018
Price $AU 39.99
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The revelatory story of the Bible in Australia, from the convict era to the Mabo land rights campaign, Nick Cave, the Bra Boys, and beyond. Thought to be everything from the word of God to a resented imposition, the Bible has been debated, painted, rejected, translated, read, gossiped about, preached, and tattooed.

Meredith Lake reveals the Bible’s dynamic influence in Australia and offers an innovative new perspective on Christianity and its changing role in our society. In the hands of writers, artists, wowsers, Bible-bashers, immigrants, suffragists, evangelists, unionists, Indigenous activists, and many more - the Bible has played a defining and contested role in Australia.
 

Talking to my Country
Cover Image, Jellyfish

Stan Grant
Harper Collins
ISBN 9781460751985
Paperback 2017
Price $AU 19.99
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This is Stan Grant's very personal meditation on what it means to be Australian, what it means to be indigenous, and what racism really means in this country. Talking to My Country is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country - what it is, and what it could be. It is not just about race, or about indigenous people but all of us, our shared identity. Stan might not have all the answers but he wants us to keep on asking the question: how can we be better?


In Search of Good Government
Cover Image, Jellyfish

Laura Tingle
Black Inc
ISBN 9781863959285     
Paperback 2017
Price $AU 22.99
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With the politics of rage and resentment dominating many Western nations, Laura Tingle’s calm, perceptive analysis is more relevant than ever. What has happened to good government? Can Malcolm Turnbull apply the lessons of the past to put things right?  When leaders surf the wave of discontentment all the way to power, how do they deal with our great expectations? In her crisp, profound and witty essays, Laura Tingle seeks answers to these questions.


True GirtCover Image, Jellyfish

David Hunt
Black Inc.
ISBN 9781863958844
Trade Paperback 2017
Price $AU 32.99
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In this side-splitting sequel to his best-selling history Girt, David Hunt takes us to the Australian frontier. This was the Wild South, home to hardy pioneers, gun-slinging bushrangers, directionally challenged explorers, nervous indigenous people, Caroline Chisholm and sheep. Lots of sheep. True Girt introduces Thomas Davey, the hard-drinking Tasmanian governor who invented the Blow My Skull cocktail, and Captain Moonlite, Australia's most famous LGBTI bushranger. Meet William Nicholson, the Melbourne hipster who gave Australia the steam-powered coffee roaster and the world the secret ballot. And say hello to Harry, the first camel used in Australian exploration, who shot dead his owner, the explorer John Horrocks. If Manning Clark and Bill Bryson were left on a desert island with only one pen, they would write True Girt.


The BushCover Image, The Bush

Don Watson
Penguin Books Australia
ISBN  9781926428697
Paperback 2016
Price $AU 24.99
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While most of us live in cities clinging to the coastal fringe, our sense of what an Australian is, or should be, is drawn from the vast and varied inland called the bush. But what do we mean by 'the bush', and how has it shaped us? Starting with his forebears' battle to drive back nature and eke a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is- the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don't. A milestone work of memoir, travel writing and history, The Bush takes us on a profoundly revelatory and entertaining journey through the Australian landscape and character.


Kin: A Real People's History of Our Nationcover image, kin

Nick Brodie
Hardie Grant
ISBN 9781742708621
Paperback 2015
Price $AU 29.95
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Join historian and archaeologist, Nick Brodie as he traces his family back to their first arrivals in Australia . As their lives intersect, Kin provides a unique historical insight into Australia's past: colonies grow and wars are fought as Nick follows his people and their children across land and sea, in their everyday occupations and through their hardships and most memorable events. From convicts, goldminers and sailors, to high country horsemen, nurses and soldiers- and almost everyone in between. Kin is about generations of real people living real lives


The Story of Australia's People: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia (Vol.1)Cover Image, Story of Australias People Vol 1

Geoffrey Blainey
Penguin
ISBN 9780670078714
Hardback 2015
Price $AU 49.99
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The vast continent of Australia was settled in two main streams, far apart in time and origin. The first came ashore some 50,000 years ago when the islands of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea were one.The long Aboriginal occupation of Australia witnessed spectacular changes. Over millennia, the Aboriginal people mastered the land's climates, seasons and resources. Traditional Aboriginal life came under threat the moment Europeans crossed the world to plant a new society in an unknown land. That land in turn rewarded, tricked, tantalised and often defeated the new arrivals. In this book Professor Geoffrey Blainey has changed his view about vital aspects of the Indigenous and early British history of this land, and looked at other aspects for the first time. Compelling, groundbreaking and brilliantly readable, The Story of Australia's People: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia is the first instalment of an ambitious two-part work, and the culmination of the lifework of Australia's most prolific and wide-ranging historian.


The Wife Drought
Cover Image, The Wife Drought

Annabel Crabb
Random House
ISBN 9780857984289
Paperback 2015
Price $AU 22.99
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'I need a wife' It's a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it's not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It's a potent economic asset on the work front. And it's an advantage enjoyed - even in our modern society - by vastly more men than women. Working women are in an advanced, sustained, and chronically under-reported state of wife drought, and there is no sign of rain. But why is the work-and-family debate always about women? Why don't men get the same flexibility that women do? In our fixation on the barriers that face women on the way into the workplace, do we forget about the barriers that - for men - still block the exits?  Crabb's call is for a ceasefire in the gender wars. Rather than a shout of rage, The Wife Drought is the thoughtful, engaging catalyst for a conversation that's long overdue.


A Shorter History of Australia
Cover Image, A Shorter History of Australia

Geoffrey Blainey
Random House
ISBN 9780857984388
Paperback 2014
Price $AU 29.99
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A broad, concise and inclusive vision of Australia and Australians by one our most renowned historians. After a lifetime of research and debate on Australian and international history, Geoffrey Blainey is well-placed to introduce us to the people who have played a part and to guide us through the events that have created the Australian identity- the mania for spectator sport; the suspicion of the tall poppy; the rivalries of Catholic and Protestant, Sydney and Melbourne, new and old homelands and new and old allies; the conflicts of war abroad and race at home; the importance of technology; defining the outback; the rise and rise of the mining industry; the recognition of our Aboriginal past and Native Title; the successes and failures of the nation.


1835: The Founding of Melbourne & the Conquest of Australia
Cover Image, 1835

James Boyce
Black Inc.
ISBN 9781863956000
Paperback 2013
Price $AU 19.99
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With the founding of Melbourne in 1835, a flood of settlers began spreading out across the Australian continent. In three years more land - and more people - was conquered than in the preceding fifty. In 1835 James Boyce brings this pivotal moment to life. He traces the power plays in Hobart, Sydney and London, and describes the key personalities of Melbourne's early days. He conjures up the Australian frontier - its complexity, its rawness and the way its legacy is still with us today. And he asks the poignant question largely ignored for 175 years; could it have been different? With his first book, Van Dieman's Land, Boyce introduced an utterly fresh approach to the nation's history.


The Explorers
Cover Image, The Explorers

Tim Flannery
Text Publishing Co
ISBN 9781921922435
Paperback 2013
Price $AU 12.95
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The explorers of Australia tell an epic story of courage and suffering, of dispossession and conquest, of a moving frontier between European invaders and the Aboriginal custodians of the continent. This compelling anthology documents almost four centuries of exploration and takes us into a world of danger, compassion and humour. Many of the stories beggar belief. Maori chief Te Pahi saves the lives of condemned thieves in Sydney in 1805. Hume and Hovell argue over their frying pan. John Ainsworth Horrocks is shot by his camel. Brilliantly edited and introduced by Tim Flannery, The Explorers draws on the most remarkable body of non-fiction writing ever produced in Australia.


The Biggest Estate on Earth
Cover Image, The Biggest Estate on Earth

Bill Gammage
Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781743311325
Paperback 2012
Price $AU 39.99
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Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised. For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and the life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year.


The Fatal Shore
Cover Image, The Fatal Shore

Robert Hughes
Vintage Publishing
ISBN 9780099448549
Paperback 2003
Price $AU 19.99
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In 1787, the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonize Australia. An epic description of the brutal transportation of men, women and children out of Georgian Britain into a horrific penal system which was to be the precursor to the Gulag and was the origin of Australia. The Fatal Shore is the prize-winning, scholarly, brilliantly entertaining narrative that has given its true history to Australia.


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