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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Banks was perhaps the most important man in the scientific world for more than half a century. It was Banks, one of the first Europeans to set foot on Australia's east coast, who advised Britain to establish a remote penal settlement and strategic base at Botany Bay, and he eventually became the foremost expert on everything Australian. Banks is a rich and rollicking biography of one of the most colourful and intriguing characters in the history of exploration.
This is award-winning chef James Viles' photographic journal of his road trip from Tasmania to the Top End. James describes the people he meets along the road and the conversations he has with foragers, food producers, fishermen, tribal elders, local farmers, all of whom are knowledgeable and passionate about Australia and Australian ingredients. With exquisite imagery from Adam Gibson, this is an extraordinary portrait of a country.
Indigenous land management expert, Victor Steffensen, offers us wisdom in a time of crisis, telling how the revival of cultural burning practices, and improved 'reading' of country, can help to restore our land.
Talking to my Country
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?
Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia
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.
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.
A sad, wise, beautiful, reflective and troubled book, Australia Day asks the questions that have to be asked, that no else seems to be asking. Who are we? What is our country? How do we move forward from here?
It's been almost fifty years since a teenage David Gulpilil illuminated screens worldwide with his breakout role in Walkabout. It was one of the first times we'd seen an Aboriginal person cast in a significant role. Gulpilil quickly became the face of the Indigenous world to white Australian audiences. A competent, strong, mysterious man able to exist in both worlds, but never truly home. Derek Rielly builds a narrative around the most beguiling of Australian entertainers, observing Gulpilil's own attempt to find a place in the world.
Waves of Unreason
Shipwrecks in Australian Waters 1622-1850
Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia
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.
Rise of the Right
To those who think of Australia as a highly successful democracy that has built a diverse society with respect for liberal values, a proposition that this is all at risk might seem alarmist. But the history of the past two decades in this country's political and social narrative, and now the global trend towards isolation, protectionism and authoritarianism, as well as the 'them and us' fear-mongering happening around the world, ought to raise the question as to whether the foundations of Australian liberal democracy are so secure that we are immune to the threats without and within. Rise of the Right is a fascinating account from one of Australia's leading political journalists and is essential reading for anyone interested in Australian politics.
The Land Before Avocado
A funny and frank look at the way Australia used to be - and just how far we have come. ‘It was simpler time’. 'We had more fun back then'. ‘Everyone could afford a house’. There’s plenty of nostalgia right now for the Australia of the past, but what was it really like? In The Land Before Avocado, Richard Glover takes a journey back to an almost unrecognisable Australia.
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 Nation
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.
A Shorter History of Australia
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
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 Fatal Shore
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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