Australian non-fiction 2016

The Best Australian Essays 2016

The Best Australian Essays 2016

Geordie Williamson

'The essay creates a place for slow thought on hectic subjects, and that is what the best of this year's crop manage to do.' -Geordie Williamson

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Seriously... You Have to Laugh: Great Yarns from the Sporting Fields, Dressing Rooms and Commentary Boxes of Australia

Seriously… You Have to Laugh: Great Yarns from the Sporting Fields, Dressing Rooms and Commentary Boxes of Australia

Peter FitzSimons

Putting his unique spin on our sporting life, Peter FitzSimons celebrates the tall tales and true, the outrageous yarns and the knockabout humour from the footy fields, cricket grounds, dressing rooms, bars and commentary boxes of...

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The Damage Done

The Damage Done

Go Gentle, Andrew Denton

The Damage Done is a collection of testimonies from patients and families, doctors, nurses and coroners that describe the suffering across Australia caused by the absence of a law for assisted dying. Written by contributors ages...

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The History of Australia in 100 Objects

The History of Australia in 100 Objects

Toby Creswell

The History of Australia in 100 Objects is a fresh, accessible take on Australian history. It explores both well- and little-known stories through the objects of the time and the people who made and owned them.<br...

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Best Australian Political Cartoons 2016

Best Australian Political Cartoons 2016

Russ Radcliffe

The year in politics as observed by Australia's funniest and most perceptive political cartoonists.

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Women of Letters 7

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Women of Letters 7

Michaela McGuire, Marieke Hardy

Dear Madonna, Thank you for showing me that it is okay to be both a devoted mother and on a podium drenched in glitter. Love, Em RuscianoDear Mum, My life is so much more fortunate than yours was and I'm...

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Midnight Oil: The Power and the Passion

Midnight Oil: The Power and the Passion

Michael Lawrence

Midnight Oil are one of the most 'Australian' rock bands this country has produced. Born from the Australian pub rock scene that gave us AC/DC, Cold Chisel and INXS, the Oils were able to break out of that scene without...

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The Story of Australia's People Volume II

The Story of Australia’s People Volume II

Geoffrey Blainey

In Volume II of The Story of Australia's People, Geoffrey Blainey continues his account of the history of this country from the early Gold Rush to the present day, completing the story of our nation and its people.<br...

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A Single Tree

A Single Tree

Don Watson

A Single Tree assembles the raw material underpinning Don Watson's award-winning The Bush. These diverse and haunting voices span the four centuries since Europeans first set eyes on the continent. <br...

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The Secret Cold War: The Official History of Asio, 1975-1989

The Secret Cold War: The Official History of Asio, 1975-1989

John Blaxland, Rhys Crawley

The inside account of Australia's national intelligence organisation as it grappled with continuing espionage from foreign agents and the rise of terrorist attacks on Australian soil during the years of the Fraser and Hawke...

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 Read reviewTrue Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia

True Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia

David Hunt

First there was Girt. Now comes... True Girt.  

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Under Full Sail

Under Full Sail

Rob Mundle

How the mighty clipper ships transformed Australia from convict outpost to a nation.

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 Read reviewKiffy Rubbo: Curating the 1970s

Kiffy Rubbo: Curating the 1970s

Janine Burke, Helen Hughes

How one woman helped shape the Australian art world.

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Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music, 1960-85

Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music, 1960-85

David Nichols, Dave Graney

A comprehensive and highly readable history of the first quarter-century of Australian rock and pop music, this book will appeal to everyone with more than a passing interest in rock 'n' roll. Those whose knowledge of Australian...

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Antipodes: In Search of the Southern Continent

Antipodes: In Search of the Southern Continent

Avan Judd Stallard

Antipodes: In Search of the Southern Continent is a new history of an ancient geography. It reassesses the evidence for why Europeans believed a massive southern continent existed, and why they advocated for its...

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Bush Heritage Australia: Restoring Nature Step by Step

Bush Heritage Australia: Restoring Nature Step by Step

Sarah Martin

With a plan to own or manage one per cent of Australia by 2025, Bush Heritage Australia is an organisation with big ambitions. With more than one million hectares in its care, Bush Heritage's achievements are celebrated in this...

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Full Bore

Full Bore

William McInnes

A chance encounter in an auction house is the jumping-off point for William's inimitable take on our sport-obsessed nation, Australian popular culture and the artefacts and memorabilia that both make us cringe with recognition and...

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Quicksilver

Quicksilver

Nicolas Rothwell

Six essays exploring the connections between old world Europe, aboriginal Australia, religion, meaning and the power of the sacred.

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The Best Australian Science Writing 2016

The Best Australian Science Writing 2016

Jo Chandler

Now in its sixth year, The Best Australian Science Writing 2016 brings together knowledge and insight from Australia's brightest thinkers as they explore the intricacies of the world around us. This lively collection of essays...

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Adam Spencer's Time Machine

Adam Spencer’s Time Machine

Adam Spencer

Following the runaway success of his Big Book of Numbers and World of Numbers (2015), Adam Spencer is back with a fascinating - and fun! - romp through history.Starting with the big bang and ending in...

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What Do We Want?: The Story of Protest in Australia

What Do We Want?: The Story of Protest in Australia

Clive Hamilton

In What Do We Want? Clive Hamilton explores the colourful, enthralling and stirring forms of protest used in the big social movements that define modern Australia.He includes dedicated chapters on the peace...

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Living with the Locals: Early Europeans' Experience of Indigenous Life

Living with the Locals: Early Europeans' Experience of Indigenous Life

Victoria Haskins, John Maynard

Living with the Locals comprises the stories of 13 white men, boys and women who were taken in by the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait islands and of eastern Australia and who lived in their communities between the...

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The Promise of Things

The Promise of Things

Ruth Quibell

Some of our strongest, most lasting relationships are hidden in plain view-those we have with objects. What do our possessions do for us? And how do they do it? In The Promise of...

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Grog: A Bottled History of Australia's First 30 Years

Grog: A Bottled History of Australia’s First 30 Years

Tom Gilling

The story of grog is the story of Australia. This is how it all began.

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 Special priceFrom the Edge: Australia's Lost Histories

From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories

Mark McKenna

In March 1797, five British sailors and 12 Bengali seamen struggled ashore after their longboat broke apart in a storm. Their fellow-survivors from the wreck of the Sydney Cove were stranded more than 500 kilometres southeast in...

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Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art

Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art

Lesley Harding

Celebrated for her vibrant, distinctive pictures of indigenous flowers, Margaret Preston was an equally colourful and outspoken personality. She was passionate about the need for a modern national culture that reflected local...

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The Curious Story of Malcolm Turnbull, the Incredible Shrinking Man in the Top Hat

The Curious Story of Malcolm Turnbull, the Incredible Shrinking Man in the Top Hat

Andrew P. Street

The even more elaborately-titled sequel to The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott, this is a tale of a muddling and middling prime minister and his attempts to steer his inertia-heavy government...

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 Read reviewFight Like a Girl

Fight Like a Girl

Clementine Ford

Personal and fearless - a call to arms for feminists new, old and as yet unrealised by one of our most outspoken feminist writers. 

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Fair Game

Fair Game

Steve Cannane

Based on years of interviews and research, Walkley Award-winning journalist Steve Cannane tells for the first time the fascinating story of Australia's vital involvement with this powerful, secretive and punitive cult.

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Swallowed by the Sea: The Story of Australia's Shipwrecks

Swallowed by the Sea: The Story of Australia’s Shipwrecks

Graeme Henderson

Swallowed by the Sea tells the stories of Australia's greatest and most tragic shipwrecks, lost in raging storms, on jagged reefs, under enemy fire, or through human error, treachery or incompetence.Read about...

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Play On! The Hidden History Of Women's Australian Rules Football

Play On! The Hidden History Of Women’s Australian Rules Football

Brunette Lenkic, Rob Hess

Since the inception of Australian Rules football in the 1850s, women have been eager to be involved. More than 100 years ago, they began taking to the field. However, their stories have largely been invisible - sidelined,...

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The Death of Holden: The End of an Australian Dream

The Death of Holden: The End of an Australian Dream

Royce Kurmelovs

Holden is one of the few brands that has an emotional grip on Australia. The impending closure of the Holden factory in Adelaide is not just the end of a business - it's the end of an era, of a story, and of a great Australian...

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Champions All: A History Of AFL/VFL Football In The Players' Own Words

Champions All: A History Of AFL/VFL Football In The Players' Own Words

Matt Zurbo

One hundred and seventy one of the game's greatest players and coaches, characters, cult heroes, clubmen and battlers ... each telling his life story, the stories of their teams, teammates and times.Funny, harsh,...

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The Near and the Far: New Stories from the Asia-Pacific Region

The Near and the Far: New Stories from the Asia-Pacific Region

David Carlin, Francesca Rendle-Short

From 22 of the best writers in the Asia-Pacific region comes a collection about finding connections where you least expect them.

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Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens

Planting Dreams: Shaping Australian Gardens

Richard Aitken

Cottage to mansion, balcony to botanic garden, Planting Dreams will change the way you think about Australian gardens. Acclaimed garden historian Richard Aitken explores the fascinating environmental and social influences that...

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Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story

Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story

Dr Elizabeth Tynan

In 1950 Australian prime minister Robert Menzies blithely agreed to atomic tests that offered no benefit to Australia and relinquished control over them - and left the public completely in the dark. This book reveals the...

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Why the Future is Workless

Why the Future is Workless

Tim Dunlop

In this timely and provocative book, Tim Dunlop argues that by embracing the changes ahead we might even find ourselves better off. Workless goes beyond the gadgetry and hype to examine the social and political ramifications of...

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Planet Jackson: Power, Greed and Unions

Planet Jackson: Power, Greed and Unions

Brad Norington

Kathy Jackson was hailed as a heroine for blowing the whistle on the million-dollar fraud of Michael Williamson, the corrupt boss of the Health Services Union. While remaining steadfast in this very public ordeal, she endured...

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 Read reviewPosition Doubtful: Mapping Landscapes and Memories

Position Doubtful: Mapping Landscapes and Memories

Kim Mahood

Imagine the document you have before you is not a book but a map. It is well-used, creased, and folded, so that when you open it, no matter how carefully, something tears, and a line that is neither latitude nor longitude opens in...

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 Special pricePlay All: A Bingewatcher's Notebook

Play All: A Bingewatcher’s Notebook

Clive James

A world-renowned media and cultural critic offers an insightful analysis of serial TV drama and the modern art of the small screen

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The Chaser's Australia: The Chaser Quarterly Issue 4

The Chaser’s Australia: The Chaser Quarterly Issue 4

The Chaser

The Chaser's Australia is a comprehensive guide to the culture, history, politics, religion, fashion, media and heroes that have made Australia one of the Top 196 countries in the world today. Featuring fewer verifiable...

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 Read reviewRebellious Daughters

Rebellious Daughters

Maria Katsonis, Lee Kofman

Good daughters hold their tongues, obey their elders and let their families determine their destiny. Rebellious daughters are just the opposite.

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A Handful of Sand: The Gurindji Struggle, After the Walk-off

A Handful of Sand: The Gurindji Struggle, After the Walk-off

Charlie Ward

Fifty years ago, a group of striking Aboriginal stockmen in the remote Northern Territory of Australia heralded a revolution in the cattle industry and a massive shift in Aboriginal affairs. Now, after many years of research,...

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Where are Our Boys?: How Newsmaps Won the Great War

Where are Our Boys?: How Newsmaps Won the Great War

Martin Woods

In 1914, the newspaper map or newsmap began to supply readers with the geographical backdrop to the Great War, an important tool in explaining the progress of the war to the public at home. Day by day, for every campaign and...

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No Man is an Island

No Man is an Island

Thomas Merton, Adele Dumont

This is the book about immigration detention that all Australians need to read.

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 Special priceBarry Jones' Dictionary of World Biography

Barry Jones' Dictionary of World Biography

Barry Jones

Barry Jones' Dictionary of World Biography weaves historical facts with perspective on the subjects and the influence they had on theirs and on modern times. Gain a unique insight into the life and times of important...

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The Drowned Man: A true story of life death and murder on HMAS Australia

The Drowned Man: A true story of life death and murder on HMAS Australia

Brendan James Murray

A chance encounter in a fish-'n'-chip shop set Brendan James Murray on the trail of a mystery. Had a gay man been secretly murdered on HMAS Australia during the Second World War?The veteran he spoke to was certain....

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Hamilton Hume: Our Greatest Explorer

Hamilton Hume: Our Greatest Explorer

Robert Macklin

The untold story of Hamilton Hume - the Australian-born explorer who truly opened up the nation.

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Not Just for This Life: Gough Whitlam Remembered

Not Just for This Life: Gough Whitlam Remembered

Wendy Guest, Gary G. Gray

When Gough Whitlam died in October 2014, the outpouring of affectionate remembrances and genuine grief expressed across Australia was extraordinary. Not Just For This Life commemorates and celebrates Gough's life. It covers the...

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The Game of Their Lives

The Game of Their Lives

Nick Richardson

An incredible untold true story of Australian Rules stars-turned-ANZACs recalled from the WWI frontline to show the world our national game for the first time.

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Quarterly Essay 62: Firing Line - Australia's Path to War

Quarterly Essay 62: Firing Line - Australia’s Path to War

James Brown

Going to war may be the gravest decision a nation and its leaders make. At the moment, Australia is at war with ISIS. We also live in a region that has become much more volatile, as China asserts itself and America seeks to hold...

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Denny Day

Denny Day

Terry Smyth

Captain Edward Denny Day - the only law 'from the Big River to the sea' - was Australia's greatest lawman, yet few have heard of him. This is his story.Once there was a wilderness: Australia's frontier, a dangerous and...

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 Read reviewA Long Time Coming: Essays on old age

A Long Time Coming: Essays on old age

Melanie Joosten

This collection of thought-provoking essays explores what it means to grow old in our youth-obsessed world.

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Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path to Power

Faction Man: Bill Shorten’s Path to Power

David Marr

A brilliant biography for an election year . . .

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Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art

Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art

Ian McLean

Superbly illustrated, and rich in detail and critical analysis, this book provides the first full historical account of Indigenous Australian art and shows that there is much more to the art than large colourful canvasses.

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Trouble: On Trial in Central Australia

Trouble: On Trial in Central Australia

Kieran Finnane

Trouble goes into the ordered environment of the courtroom to lay out in detail some of the dark disorder in the town's recent history. Men kill their wives, kill one another in seeming senseless acts of revenge, families...

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Breaking the Ice: How We Will Get Through Australia's Methamphetamine Crisis

Breaking the Ice: How We Will Get Through Australia’s Methamphetamine Crisis

Matt Noffs

The so-called war on drugs has been a colossal failure, and this book offers further proof that we must treat drug use as a public health issue, not as a crime' Sir Richard Branson This landmark book, from Matt Noffs and his team...

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Offshore: Behind the Wire on Nauru and Manus

Offshore: Behind the Wire on Nauru and Manus

Madeline Gleeson

Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Writing for Non-fiction 2017What has happened on Nauru and Manus since Australia began its most recent offshore processing regime in 2012?<br...

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Speaking Out: A 21st-Century Handbook for Women and Girls

Speaking Out: A 21st-Century Handbook for Women and Girls

Tara Moss

A short, accessible and practical handbook for women on speaking out safely and confidently.Worldwide, less than one out of every four people we hear from or about in the media is female and men outnumber women in...

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How to Vote Progressive in Australia: Labor or Green?

How to Vote Progressive in Australia: Labor or Green?

Dennis Altman, Sean Scalmer

Red or Green? Traditionally, Australian progressives have supported the Australian Labor Party; increasingly, The Greens appeal. What are the key differences between the parties? Is greater collaboration desirable? Is it...

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 Read reviewEverywhere I Look

Everywhere I Look

Helen Garner

Helen Garner is one of Australia's greatest writers. Her short non-fiction has enormous range. Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition,...

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Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly

Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly

Karen Hitchcock

In this short, powerful book, Karen Hitchcock shines a light on ageism in our society. Through some unforgettable case studies, she shows what care for the elderly and dying is really like - both the good and the bad. With honesty...

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Things My Mother Taught Me

Things My Mother Taught Me

Claire Halliday

How did you become the person you are today? Lessons learned from our mothers can set the course for the lives we will lead and the people we will become. A mother can be many things: generous, heroic, nurturing, inspiring,...

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Defending Country: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Military Service Since 1945

Defending Country: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Military Service Since 1945

Richard Trembath, Noah Jed Riseman

Few Australians realise the extent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the military. Many enlisted before they had the right to vote, to drink alcohol or even to receive equal wages. Defending Country is the...

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Who Bombed the Hilton?

Who Bombed the Hilton?

Rachel Landers

Once you start to go through the archives, the story of the Hilton bombing what happened, who probably did it and how the truth was lost becomes apparent.On 13 February 1978 a bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in George...

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 Read reviewThe Media and the Massacre: Port Arthur 1996-2016

The Media and the Massacre: Port Arthur 1996-2016

Sonya Voumard

‘An unflinching dissection of the relationships between journalists and their subjects - a compelling exposé of journalistic culture.' John Dale, author of HucksteppSonya Voumard's The Media and the...

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Unnecessary Wars

Unnecessary Wars

Henry Reynolds

Australian governments find it easy to go to war. Their leaders seem to be able to withdraw with a calm conscience, answerable neither to God nor humanity.' Australia lost 600 men in the Boer War, a three - year conflict fought in...

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 Special priceThe Lucky Country?: Reinventing Australia

The Lucky Country?: Reinventing Australia

Ian Lowe

Can we reinvent the Lucky Country? Fifty years ago author Donald Horne described Australia as a lucky country run by second-rate people , adding that its leaders were mostly unaware of events that surround them. In this polemic...

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 Read reviewGeorgiana Molloy: The Mind That Shines

Georgiana Molloy: The Mind That Shines

Bernice Barry

In 1829, estranged from her family and living in an isolated Scottish village, Georgiana Kennedy makes a sudden decision to marry Captain John Molloy of the Rifle Brigade - a handsome hero with a mysterious past. Together, they...

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New Australian Haggadah

New Australian Haggadah

Talia Lipshut Illustrator

An exciting translation inspired by Nathan Englander's translation in the New American Haggadah. It is contemporary, filled with poetic force, gender-neutral as far as possible while remaining true to the original Hebrew.

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Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act - Australia Between Recession and Renewal

Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act - Australia Between Recession and Renewal

George Megalogenis

Malcolm Turnbull says we need to be agile citizens, and that there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian. On the other hand, the mining boom is over and a question looms: is a recession on the way?<br...

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Backlash : Australia's Conflict of Values Over Live Exports

Backlash : Australia’s Conflict of Values Over Live Exports

Julian Davies, Jones Bidda

In 2011 footage of the inhumane slaughter of cattle in Indonesia caused the greatest outpouring of public protest in over thirty years. This book brings to life these extraordinary events including the backlash against the...

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 Read reviewTalking to My Country

Talking to My Country

Stan Grant

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....

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 Special pricePrivate Lives, Public Histories

Private Lives, Public Histories

Anna Clark

The past is consumed on a grand scale: popularised by television programs, enjoyed by reading groups, walking groups, historical societies and heritage tours, and supported by unprecedented digital access to archival records. Yet...

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High Seas and High Teas: Voyaging to Australia

High Seas and High Teas: Voyaging to Australia

Roslyn Russell, Kerry O'Brien

‘The rats I frighten away by throwing books or anything hard at the spot at which they commence their gnawing.'Emigrant Janet Ronald wrote this in the journal she kept on board one of the ships transporting free...

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 Read reviewA Murder Without Motive: the Killing of Rebecca Ryle

A Murder Without Motive: the Killing of Rebecca Ryle

Martin McKenzie-Murray

In 2004, the body of a young Perth woman was found on the  grounds of a primary school. Her name was Rebecca Ryle. The killing  would mystify investigators, lawyers, and psychologists - and profoundly  rearrange the...

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Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling

Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling

Larissa Behrendt

A vital Aboriginal perspective on colonial storytelling Indigenous lawyer and writer Larissa Behrendt has long been fascinated by the story of Eliza Fraser, who was purportedly captured by the local Butchulla people after she was...

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