Readings Recommends: Australian Studies
Australians see themselves as a relaxed and tolerant bunch. But scratch the surface and you'll uncover an extraordinary level of panic -- about politics, art, sexuality, drugs, boat people, protest, religion and terror. Through it...
Maximum security the toughest classification in the Australian prison system exerts a powerful fascination for us. Housing the nation's worst criminals, the so-called 'intractables', these facilities are settings of violence and...
Sophie Cunningham writes a year in the city's life, a year that takes us from the heatwave that culminated on Black Saturday when temperatures soared to 47 degrees to the destructive deluge of a hailstorm. She walks through...
Man-made World: Choosing Between Progress and Planet
Across the globe, economists and environmentalists vie over who has the right response to climate change, population or food security issues. In this groundbreaking essay Charlton argues that our descendants will only thank us if...
Ocean to Outback: Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Australia
Some of the most enduring conflicts and tensions that have bedevilled Australia in recent years stem from notions of nationality and citizenship, ethnicity and migration, community and place. Vigorous debates about...
Bringing the House Down
The only thing that kept me sane, well reasonably sane, during 20 years hard labor was the hilarious things that my erstwhile colleagues became involved in.
The Ballroom: the Melbourne Punk and Post-punk Scene - a Tell All Memoir
The Ballroom is a brutally frank memoir of what has become known
as one of the most pivotal, fascinating and influential periods of
Australian musical and cultural history. The story is illustrated
with original flyers and...
Pop Life: Inside Smash Hits Australia 1984 - 2007
For Australian teenagers of the 1980s and 90s, Smash Hits magazine provided a fortnightly fix of fun, glamour and pop. It had more fizz than a sherbet bomb, and hundreds of thousands of Australian teenagers were hooked. Pop Life...
Looking for the Light on the Hill
Today, despite being in government, Labor is in crisis. Reduced to minority government after just one term and tanking in the opinion polls (the lowest primary vote in 25 years of Newspoll), how did it come to this so soon?...
The Fog on the Hill: How NSW Labor Lost Its Way
This is an honest appraisal of the systemic and specific failings of sixteen years of successive Labor governments but goes further to provide a valuable insight into the changing political landscape in Australia. Based on more...
Dirty Money: The True Cost of Australia’s Mineral Boom
They put the boys into the Anvil mining truck. They came for my dad. I asked them 'where are you taking him?' and they didn't answer. The Australian mining company trucks had come roaring into the African village and disgorged...
Australia’s Wild Weather
Weather is the oldest story in the world-one we want to keep on telling each other when we meet, as though it were part of who we are, a story that wants to keep on telling itself, and affecting us, whether we like it or not. We...
Breaking the Sheep’s Back: The Shocking True Story of the Decline and Fall of the Australian Wool Industry
Tells the story of one of Australia's biggest business disasters, which involves government complicity, and is a political scandal that reaches into the offices of Cabinet ministers and prime ministers across six federal...
On 7 February 2009 Sergeant Roger Wood found himself at the epicentre of the worst bushfire in Australia's history. Black Saturday. Black Saturday was a many-headed monster in whose wake stories of grief, heroism and desolation...
A History of Tasmania
This captivating work charts the history of Tasmania from the arrival of European maritime expeditions through to the modern day.
Fear, Faith and Hope: Remembering the Long, Wet Summer of 2010-2011
Fear, faith and hope are just three of the emotions felt by the people of Queensland during the long, wet summer of 2010-2011. The floods and cyclones of that wet season produced a natural disaster which will continue to influence...
Digger Smith & Australia’s Great War
Smiths were among the first men to land at Gallipoli. Smiths
fought and died at Pozières, Bullecourt and Passchendaele. Smiths
were wounded – and treated by doctors and nurses named Smith.
At home, Smiths penned...
Gurindji Journey: A Japanese Historian in the Outback
After immersing himself in the culture of a remote Australian Indigenous community for close to a year, a Japanese scholar emerged with a new world view. Gurindji Journey tells of his experience living with the Gurindji people of...
The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe: A History of Aboriginal Involvement with the World Game
A first in sporting literature, The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe is the largely untold history of Aboriginal involvement with the world game. Maynard examines an important aspect of our nations sporting history. The acceptance that...
A painting, a frog cake, a landmark, a statue, a haunting newspaper photograph, a bucket of peaches, pink shorts in parliament, concert tickets, tourist maps - Kerryn Goldsworthy's Adelaide is a museum of sorts, a personal guide...
Into the Unknown: The Tormented Life and Expeditions of Ludwig Leichhardt
Alive with the period, the details of early exploration, the experience of the harsh Australian landscape and the quirks of personality and character that both made Leichhardt such a success and then eventually destroyed him, Into...
The Forgotten Islands
Bass Strait has over fifty cold, dark islands that are regularly pounded by atrocious weather and hardly visited. These islands are rich in atypical Australian history: sealers, lighthouse keepers, aboriginal 'resettlements', and...
Pedder Dreaming: Olegas Truchanas and a Lost Tasmanian Wilderness
In 1972, Lake Pedder in Tasmania's untamed south-west was flooded to build a dam. Wildlife photographer Olegas Truchanas, who had spent years campaigning passionately to save the magnificent fresh water lake, had finally lost....
The Sons of Clovis
In the mid-1940s, writers James McAuley and Harold Stewart submitted a series of poems to the modernist literary magazine, Angry Penguins , under the fictitious name Ern Malley. This book not only offers an account of the Ern...
Noongar Mambara Bakitj
Noongar Mambara Bakitj was created as part of an Indigenous language recovery project led by Kim Scott and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project. Inspired by a creation story told to the American linguist Gerhardt...
The Australian Book of Great Trials
The Australian Book of Great Trials tells the story of some of the most interesting and important trials in Australian history.
Mark Strizic: Melbourne - Marvellous to Modern
This magnificent collection of photographs arose from the creativity of a young photographer and his adoption of his new home town, Melbourne. Mark Strizic's pictures were taken at a time when the Victorian elegance of the city...
The Greens: Policies, Reality and Consequences
The idea for this book came from an awareness of the alarming void in media analysis of the Greens' policies at a time when they have been gaining in political strength.
Too Much Luck: The Mining Boom and Australia’s Future
Shows that the resources boom, which seems like a blessing, has the potential to become a curse unless our governments take urgent action. This title maps out the pitfalls, considers what has worked overseas, and suggests a better...
Inside Pine Gap: The Spy Who Came in from the Desert
For the first time, a US high-tech spy who worked at Pine Gap for 18 years speaks out to give an insider's account of what happens behind those locked gates in the middle of the Australian desert.
Details the exploits of an unforgettable cast of villains, crooks and mobsters who have defined the criminal and gangland scene in Melbourne from the late 1800s to the present day.
What happened when Bob Hawke locked horns with Frank Sinatra, when Errol Flynn interviewed Fidel Castro, and when Norman Gunston joined Frank Zappa on stage? This book tells of 50 true encounters - public or private, ill-fated or...
The Australian Voter: 50 Years of Change
In the 1960s, voting was class and party-based; today, environmentalism, evaluations of economic performance and the personalities of the leaders dominate political debate. Ian McAllister assesses the implications of these changes...
Ali Abdul V the King: Muslim Stories from the Dark Days of White Australia
Mahomet Allum, wonder herbalist and ladies' man, bush battler Ali Abdul, the feisty Afghan Rock men, and Sam the republican pearl diver, are some of Deen's 'men from the archives'. To others they are troublemakers and 'lustful...
Darwin Spitfires: the Real Battle for Australia
In 1943, a small band of inexperienced Australian and British fighter pilots fought an ongoing air battle in defense of north-western Australia, flying against a formidably skilled and proficient opponent. Following the RAAFs...
Half a Citizen: Life on Welfare in Australia
What is it really like to be unemployed and on welfare? How do you make ends meet? Does the welfare system actually help people get back into jobs?
Storm Over Kokoda: Australia’s Epic Battle for the Skies of New Guinea, 1942
Tells how Australian crews in a handful of Hudson bombers and Catalina flying boats, took the fight to the Japanese.
Personal View: Photographs 1978-1986
Personal View Photographs: 1978--1986 is a casual, intimate, visual memoir that includes Albert Tucker, Betty Churcher, Sue Ford, Allan Mitelman, Jenny Watson, Shane Maloney, John Nixon, Frances Lindsay and Paul Taylor.
A Little History of the Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is one of the oldest labour parties and was the first in the world to form a government. 2011 marks its 120th birthday This short and lively book tells the story of the ALPs numerous successes in winning...
Northern Voyages Australia’s Monsoon Coast In Maritime History
The maritime history of Australia's monsoon coast, stretching from Broome to Thursday Island, has a known story that is far older, more complex and more redolent of men against the sea than any other coast of the continent.
Beyond White Guilt: The Real Challenge for Black-white Relations in Australia
Government policies of obliteration, assimilation, cultural maintenance and intervention have manifestly failed to bridge the gulf between black and white Australians, and to improve the lives of many Aboriginal Australians. This...
Circus The Australian Story
A comprehensive, entertaining and visually stunning history of the circus in Australia.
Dick Smith’s Population Crisis
In 2011 the world's population exceeded 7 billion. By mid-century we will require twice as much food and double the energy we use today. Australia will be deeply affected by these trends. Dick Smith is convinced that if we are to...
The Bogan Delusion
Nothing defies cultured Australia's sense of itself more than the bogan - that boorish, racist, drunken, sexist, bethonged, Barnesyloving embarrassment out there in the back blocks. Part travelogue, part social critique,...
Radical Hope: Education and Equality in Australia
Noel Pearson turns his attention to the question of education. He argues powerfully that underclass students, many of whom are Aboriginal, should receive a rigorous schooling that gives them the means to negotiate the wider world....
The Protectors: A Journey Through Whitefella Past
This winner of the Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues is a beautifully and languidly written exploration of a little understood aspect of Australian history, and a personal discovery of the men who were the Northern...
My School: What Every Parent Needs to Know About NAPLAN, the My School Website and Getting the Best Education for Your Child
A clear and accessible book that answers all likely questions parents could have about My School/NAPLAN/choosing a school. What makes a good school? What should a parent know and what should they ask? This book will also cover hot...
Making Trouble: Essays Against the New Australian Complacency
As this eloquent and important book shows, no one in Australia makes a better argument than Robert Manne. This is a book that will enlighten and provoke. It covers much ground from Howard to Gillard by way of Rudd, from Victoria's...
Teaching Aboriginal Studies: A Practical Resource for Primary and Secondary Teaching
First published a decade ago, Teaching Aboriginal Studies has been very widely used as a resource for teacher education and a practical guide for both new and experienced teachers in primary and secondary schools.
Governor-General Sir John Kerr's dismissal of the elected Whitlam Government in 1975, more or less at the behest of the Liberal-Country Party Coalition led by Malcolm Fraser, was among the most momentous events in Australian...
An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark
Manning Clark was a complex, demanding and brilliant man. Mark McKenna's compelling biography of this giant of Australia's cultural landscape is informed by his reading of Clark's extensive private letters, journals and diaries. A...
Sideshow Dumbing Down Democracy
When Lindsay Tanner resigned in 2010 as the ALP's federal minister for finance and member for Melbourne, having had an 18-year career as an MP, he notably managed to retire with his reputation for integrity intact. In Sideshow, he...
Red Silk: The Life of Elliott Johnston QC
Elliott Johnston and his wife became Communists in 1941 and he resigned only to join the South Australian Supreme Court Bench. His appointment as Queen's Counsel was the highest public office attained by a Communist in Australia....
The Enemy at Home: German Internees in World War I Australia
When nearly 7,000 people of German and Austrian heritage were detained by the Australian authorities following the outbreak of WW I, Paul Dubotzki, a Bavarian photographer, was among them. Here Dubotzki's rediscovered photographs...
There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia
For the first time in history, Australia will be uncomfortably close to the designs and demarches of competing great powers. Wesley points to the key economic and political issues that we need to be considering right now, as a...
Both Sides of the Wire: The Memoir of an Australian Officer Captured During the Great War
Captain William Cull fought the First World War from both sides of the wire. This is an action-packed account of Cull's war on the Western Front in the months leading up to his capture, and a candid portrayal of his experiences as...
Great Central State: the Foundation of the Northern Territory
In Great Central State, Jack Cross tells the story of South Australia's ambitious - or foolhardy - plan to become the premier colony of Australia using its own unique experience in planned colonisation, and its bid to develop the...
The Great Australian Dream: A Guide to Buying Your First Home
The 'great Australian dream' of owning your own home is quickly slipping out of reach for many Australians,especially gen X and Y. This book arms you with the tools you need to confidently enter the property market.
Witnesses to War: The History of Australian Conflict Reporting
Witnesses to War is a landmark history of Australian war journalism covering the regional conflicts of the nineteenth century to the major conflicts of the twentieth: World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Bosnia through to recent...
Heart of Arnhem Land: A Memoir
Francois Giner headed across Australia to discover its indigenous heart. Heart of Arnhem Land shares Giner's experiences of living and working in this remote region. It is a personal journey of discovery and self-discovery, but...
Notorious Australian Women
Notorious Australian Women celebrates the lives of some of Australia's most fearless, brash and scandalous women. From bushrangers, courtesans and cross-dressers, to writers, designers and a radical or two, what these splendid...
The Great Australian Novel: A Panorama
A study of Australian literature which sheds light on the country, its people and ideas, its cultural identity, geography and history.
Boat People Personal Stories From The Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996
Vietnamese migrants from around Australia share, in their own words, stories, photos, letters and ephemera. Includes interviews and photos by the journalists and photo journalists who covered the mass migration of Vietnamese from...
Anzac Fury: The Bloody Battle of Crete 1941
Anzac Fury commemorates the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. It tells the riveting story of how the legendary Anzac Corps was reformed in the heat of battle during World War II to fight a powerful and...
Crack Hardy: From Gallipoli to Flanders to the Somme, the True Story of Three Australian Brothers at War
A true story of three of Australian soldiers, the Searle brothers. It defines Australia and Australians during the making of our nation on the far-flung battlefields of the First World War.
The Business of Nature: John Gould and Australia
In 1838, John Gould and his wife, Elizabeth, left London to travel to the far-flung colony of Van Diemens Land, from where Gould would travel around the mainland to observe the native fauna. Gould's artists - Elizabeth foremost...
Sempre Con Te (Always with You)
Sempre Con Te (Always with you) tells the fascinating and very personal stories of Italian women who migrated to Sydney's Northern Beaches during the early 20th century.
Watch This Space: The Future of Australian Journalism
Is 'quality' journalism under threat? Deitz argues that the internet is challenging traditional media and reinvigorating the profession.
All Day Long the Noise of Battle: An Australian Attack in Vietnam
During the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in February 1968 an Australian infantry company assaulted a North Vietnamese bunker complex. In the longest sustained attack fought by Australians during the Vietnam War the soldiers went...
Willingly into the Fray: One Hundred Years of Australian Army Nursing
Comprises the personal stories of sixty-five individual nurses, their voices preserved and their words, often fraught with emotion and mired in distress at what they have seen, endured and railed against, carefully retained. Many...
Bomber: From Vietnam to Hell and Back
'Bomber' was a sapper in the Australian Army when he went to Vietnam. Land mines were one of the biggest threats for troops on both sides, and much of Bomber's work involved laying or clearing these terrible devices. In 2001 he...
Gallipoli: The Final Battles and Evacuation of ANZAC
n early August with the failure of the August Offensive at Gallipoli the senior commanders still believed that victory was possible. To help prepare for a new offensive sometime in the first half on 1916 the allied forces...
It is no surprise that the barbarity and evil that came in the wake of the wreck of the Batavia has inspired books, radio and TV documentarys, plays and an opera. Lust, jealously, greed, madness, deception, rape, murder - all the...
Speech Matters: Getting Free Speech Right
Australia is the land of the 'fair go'. But does this attitude extend to freedom of speech? Katharine Gelber shows why many of Australia's laws and policies, supported by the wider public, are actually harmful to democratic...
Australian Prime Ministers
Written to commemorate the centenary of Federation, this book is a fascinating look at how and why we have chosen the 25 leaders who have taken Australia from Federation into the 21st century.
The Way They Were: The View from The Hill of the 25 Years That Remade Australia
For many years reading Alan Ramsey's vitriolic, vindictive but always entertaining and insightful pieces in the Sydney Morning Herald was a standard feature of Saturday mornings for many Australians. This collection of his best...
The Republic of Learning: Higher Education Transforms Australia
In 2010 Professor Glyn Davis presents the 51st Boyer Lecture series, titled 'The Republic of Learning: Higher Education Transforms Australia'. The lectures explore Australia's higher education landscape, revealing an experience...
How Australia Decides: Election Reporting and the Media
Puts allegations over the Australian media's recent reporting of politics and election campaigns to the test.
The Dreaming and Other Essays
W.E.H. Stanner's words changed Australia. Without condescension and without sentimentality, Stanner conveyed the richness and uniqueness of Aboriginal culture. In his Boyer Lectures he exposed a 'cult of forgetfulness practised on...
The Australians: Insiders and Outsiders on the National Character Since 1770
Is there an Australian national character? What are its distinguishing features? Over the years, how have insiders and outsiders summed up this country and its people? John Hirst gathers together the key assessments of the...
The Pocketbook of Aussie History
When was the first Melbourne Cup, and which horse won? Who was the first woman to stand for federal parliament? What's the second verse of 'Advance Australia Fair'? Why was Vegemite renamed Parwill in 1928? Here, in one handy...
Man Bites Murdoch: Four Decades in Print, Six Days in Court
Bruce Guthrie survived tuberculosis, Melbourne's gritty northern suburbs and a boss who twice tried to sack him in his first six months in newspapers, to become a foreign correspondent and then one of Australia's feistiest and...
Transport: An Australian History
Trains, planes, boats and cars. What did Australians do before the invention of modern transport? This title tells the story of how transport in Australia has developed, and how it has impacted our lives. It brings together the...
Shack: In Praise of an Australian Icon
In Australia shacks have become our protest against the brick veneer, the place where we unwind on holiday, the workshop that feeds our soul. Photographer Simon Griffiths has travelled the countryside, from Jericho in Tasmania to...
The Party Thieves: The Real Story of the 2010 Election
The Party Thieves is more than just a campaign diary of the extraordinary 2010 election and its aftermath; it is a rip-roaring, incisive analysis of a tumultuous nine months in politics that even surprised veteran journalists such...
The Australian Book of Atheism
A variety of prominent overseas authors have made significant contributions to the general public conversation on belief and religion, but Australians have been somewhat less heard. This book aims to change that, providing a...
Henry Ayers: The Man Who Became a Rock
First biography of Henry Ayers, focuses attention on the complex character behind the name and examines all aspects of his life - from his humble origins in the naval city of Portsmouth in southern England, his migration to...
Hell’s Only Half Full
Hells Only Half Full tells the colourful story of Victorian pioneersettler Lucy Little (Nan) through the lives of three generations of her family. It is essentially a gritty yet engaging story of strong, resourceful women (and...
Lands Edge A Coastal Memoir
On childhood holidays to the beach the sun and surf kept Tim Winton outside in the mornings, in the water; the wind would drive him indoors in the afternoons, to books and readingI
Twenty-five Years of Australian Geographic Photography
A quarter of a century ago, the Australian Geographic journal began documenting an Australia only thrown a passing glance by other media: a land of red dirt, big skies and faces etched with experience of this sometimes harsh and...
Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia
The Northern Territory Intervention sparked a heated national debate about Indigenous disadvantage and autonomy. Moreover, it caused Australian anthropologists to question the contribution of their own discipline. This book puts...
Australian Encounters is a one-of-a-kind book, written by Shane Maloney and illustrated by Chris Grosz. With abundant humour, it tells of 50 true encounters - public or private, ill-fated or fortuitous - between a renowned...
Islam Dreaming: Indigenous Muslims in Australia
From the Makassan trepang fisherman of Arnhem Land, the Malay pearl-divers of Broome, through the Afghan camel drivers of the interior, Muslims have lived and worked in Australia for over 3 centuries and were among the earliest...
The First Peoples of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Central Victoria: The Eastern Kulin
The Kulin nation lived around Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River valley. Gary Presland looks at the Eastern Kulin peoples from before European invasion in the mid-1830s and their world which was changed forever. The Kulin were...
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