Readings Recommends: History

Castaway

Castaway

Robert Macklin

The astonishing and unknown story of Narcisse Pelletier - a French cabin boy cast away in 1858 on the Daintree coast of far north Queensland

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Australia's First Naturalists

Australia’s First Naturalists

Penny Olsen, Lynette Russell

Penny Olsen and Lynette Russell have gathered together Aboriginal peoples' contributions to demonstrate the crucial role they played in early Australian zoology. 

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Apollo 11: The Inside Story

Apollo 11: The Inside Story

David Whitehouse

The amazing inside story of Apollo 11 - The Right Stuff for a new generation

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Operation Babylift

Operation Babylift

Ian W. Shaw

The dramatic and heart-warming story of the last-minute evacuation of hundreds of orphaned babies from South Vietnam in the dying days of the Vietnam War and of the brave Australian nurses who made it happen.

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Promise Me You'll Shoot Yourself

Promise Me You’ll Shoot Yourself

Florian Huber

An important exploration of a shocking and previously unacknowledged chapter in German history.

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Madame Fourcade's Secret War

Madame Fourcade’s Secret War

Lynne Olson

The little-known true story of the woman who headed the largest spy network in Vichy France during World War II.

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The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement

The Jewish Dark Continent: Life and Death in the Russian Pale of Settlement

Nathaniel Deutsch

The Jews of the Pale of Settlement created a distinctive way of life little known beyond its borders. Just before World War I, a socialist revolutionary named An-sky and his team collected jokes, recorded songs, took thousands of...

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December 1941: Twelve Days that Began a World War

December 1941: Twelve Days that Began a World War

Evan Mawdsley

An account of twelve pivotal days in 1941, when a chain of interlinked events changed world history

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Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910

Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910

Jeffrey H. Jackson

In the winter of 1910 the river that brought life to Paris became a force of destruction drowning Parisian streets, forcing its inhabitants to overcome a history of strife and work together. On the hundredth anniversary of the...

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The Times Complete History of the World

The Times Complete History of the World

Richard Overy

The ultimate work of historical reference

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 Read reviewThe Sons of Clovis

The Sons of Clovis

David Brooks

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...

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Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train

Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train

Ina Caro

I'd rather go to France with Ina Caro than with Henry Adams or Henry James. -Peter Prescott, Newsweek

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Fear, Faith and Hope: The Long Wet Summer of 2010-2011

Fear, Faith and Hope: The Long Wet Summer of 2010-2011

Matthew Condon

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Cleopatra

Cleopatra

Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra's palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order, a...

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Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History

Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History

Eric Chaline

Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History is a beautifully illustrated book that uncovers the fascinating stories of creatures great and small. These are the animals that have played a central role in the evolution of...

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The Queen's Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I

The Queen’s Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I

John Cooper, MANLEY

Queen Elizabeth's Secretary, Francis Walsingham, was prepared to do whatever it took to protect her. He ran a network of agents in England and Europe who provided him with information about invasions or assassination plots. He...

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Mad Dog: William Cyril Moxley and the Moorebank Killings

Mad Dog: William Cyril Moxley and the Moorebank Killings

Peter Corris

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A History of Tasmania

A History of Tasmania

Henry Reynolds (University of Tasmania)

This captivating work charts the history of Tasmania from the arrival of European maritime expeditions in the late eighteenth century, through to the modern day. By presenting the perspectives of both indigenous Tasmanians and the...

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Burke & Wills: the Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition

Burke & Wills: the Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition

E. B. Joyce, D. A. McCann

Reveals for the first time the true extent and limits of the scientific achievements of the Burke and Wills Expedition.

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Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Timothy Snyder

Under Hitler and Stalin the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow. The killing fields extended from central Polads to western Russia.

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Empires at War: A Short History of Modern Asia Since World War II

Empires at War: A Short History of Modern Asia Since World War II

Francis Pike (Independent Scholar, UK)

New in paperback. Asia - with four billion people, almost two-thirds of the world's population, a huge landmass and the fastest-growing economies - has transformed the geopolitical global balance. This title gives a dramatic...

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Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu

Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu

Christopher Heaney, Neil B Chambers

The first-ever account of adventurer Hiram Bingham's search for the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. Bingham's dispatches cast him as a romanticized hero and revealed the lost city to the Western world. The reader is taken into the...

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The Gold Rush: The Fever That Forever Changed Australia

The Gold Rush: The Fever That Forever Changed Australia

David Hill

David Hill relates the extraordinary people and staggering events of Australia's great gold - rush years. From the mid - to late - 1800s, people from all corners of the globe and all walks of life, including two future prime...

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Mission 101

Mission 101

Duncan McNab

In Late 1940 a group of five Australian soldiers set out on a secret mission: one of the second world war's most daring operations. Leading a small force of Ethiopian freedom fighters on an epic trek across the harsh African bush...

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Venetian Navigators: The Voyages of the Zen Brothers to the Far North

Venetian Navigators: The Voyages of the Zen Brothers to the Far North

Andrea di Robilant

In the 14th century, Nicolo and Antonio Zen journeyed from Venice up the North Atlantic, encountering warrior princes, fighting savage natives and, just possibly, reaching the New World a full century before Columbus.

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A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

Christopher B. Krebs

The riveting story of the Germania and its incarnations and exploitations through the ages.

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The Popes

The Popes

John Julius Norwich

Well known for his histories of Norman Sicily, Venice, the Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean, John Julius Norwich has now turned his attention to the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the...

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For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus

For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus

Professor Frederick Brown

The author of acclaimed biographies of Emile Zola and Flaubert now offers an ambitious, far-reaching portrait of fin-de-siecle France.

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Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives us Life

Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives us Life

Richard Cohen

Synopsis coming soon.......

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Robin Hood

Robin Hood

J. C. Holt

The legend of Robin Hood began more than 600 years ago. The man, if he existed at all, lived even earlier. This title assesses the evidence for the historical Robin Hood and finds that the tale originated with the yeomen and...

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The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

Jason Vuic

Brilliantly re-creating the amazing confluence of events that produced the Yugo, Yugoslav expert Vuic uproariously tells the story of the car that became an international joke and a business fiasco.

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Death and the Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart

Death and the Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart

Chris Skidmore

The dramatic story of Elizabeth's first ten years on the throne and the unexplained death that scandalised her court.

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New York Times The Complete Civil War 1861-1865

New York Times The Complete Civil War 1861-1865

Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds

Eyewitness accounts of the American Civil War as told to the New York Times.

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Lure of Russia: 20 Years of Travel & 20 Years of Change

Lure of Russia: 20 Years of Travel & 20 Years of Change

Gail Ford

Ford visited Russia 18 times in 20 years, leading groups of school students, then music and art groups. Ford provides the historical context to her travels, which provide snapshots of Russian life during pivotal times of momentous...

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Fire and Song

Fire and Song

Anna Lanyon

1596: Luis de Carvajal's forbears had fled the Inquisition in Spain to Portugal and then from there to the New World. But the lives they try to rebuild as conversos in Mexico are just as perilous, for the Inquisition is determined...

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The Pocketbook of Aussie History

The Pocketbook of Aussie History

Brendan Gullifer

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...

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 Special priceCitizens: A Chronicle of The French Revolution

Citizens: A Chronicle of The French Revolution

Simon Schama, CBE

Offers a social, cultural and narrative history of the French Revolution. This title provides an impression of the currents and contradictions which made up this terrible sequence of events.

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The Great Wall: A Cultural History

The Great Wall: A Cultural History

Carlos Rojas

A survey of the historical and political significance of one the Great Wall, of the world's most recognizable monuments. Through an examination of allusions to the Wall in an eclectic array of texts, it maps out a framework for...

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The Imperial Cruise: A True Story of Empire and War

The Imperial Cruise: A True Story of Empire and War

James Bradley

From the author of the no 1 bestselling Flags of our Fathers and Flyboys, a startling new look at the events that set the stage for WWII

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The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

Glynis Ridley

In 1765, eminent botanist Philibert Commerson was appointed official naturalist to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. Jeanne Baret - Commerson's young mistress and collaborator - disguised...

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Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil

Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil

Peter Maass

Oil makes the world work, but it destroys many of those who produce it. This title looks at the countries where oil is extracted, and follows the journey of oil, showing how it poisons the land and rivers, promotes political...

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Speeches That Changed the World

Speeches That Changed the World

Simon Sebag Montefiore

See and hear the 20th century's greatest orators speak the very words that made history - from Winston Churchill and JFK to Kevin Rudd and Barack Obama. This gripping DVD pack provides genuine historical footage of 20 of the most...

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The Australian Pub

The Australian Pub

Diane Kirkby, Tanja Luckins, Chris McConville

The pub is one of Australia's most-loved institutions. This book takes us on an intoxicating journey through the colourful history of this Australian icon: from its colonial origins along the waterfronts and roadways used by...

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Transport: An Australian History

Transport: An Australian History

Robert Lee

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...

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The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One

The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One

Miranda Carter

As cousins, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II and the last Tsar Nicholas II should have been friends - but they happened also to rule Europe's three most powerful states. This book offers an account of how three men who should have...

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Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater

Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater

Larry Stempel

The definitive history of the Broadway musical: the shows, the stars, the movers, and the shakers.

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Savage or Civilised?: Manners in Colonial Australia

Savage or Civilised?: Manners in Colonial Australia

Penny Russell

In colonial Australia manners marked the difference between savagery and civilisation, between vulgarity and refinement. Colonists recoiled in shock and confusion at the customs of Indigenous Australians, but they also sensed the...

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The Idea of Justice

The Idea of Justice

Amartya Sen, FBA

Is justice an ideal, for ever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? This book offers a fresh approach to mainstream theories of justice. It shows how the principles...

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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War

From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War

Jerry Della Femina

This advertising classic is the original guide to life on Madison Avenue in the 1960s - and it was an inspiration for series one of Mad Men, with Jerry an advisor to the show. Packed full of eccentric characters and interesting...

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Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades

Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades

Jonathan Phillips

Although the notion of fighting for one's faith fell into disrepute in the Enlightenment, Phillips traces the crusading impulse from the bloody conquest of Jerusalem in the First Crusade and the titanic struggle between Richard...

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Defenders of the Faith: Christianity and Islam Battle for the Soul of Europe, 1520-1536

Defenders of the Faith: Christianity and Islam Battle for the Soul of Europe, 1520-1536

Reston Jr James

A bestselling historian recounts 16 years that shook the world--the epic clash between Europe and the Ottoman Turks that ended the Renaissance and brought Islam to the gates of Vienna.

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The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall

The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall

Timothy Parsons (Professor, African and Afro-American Studies Program, Washington University)

Why do empires rise and why do they fall? To answer this question, Timothy Parsons casts his gaze across seven historical moments - from ancient Rome to Muslim Spain, from Britain's new imperialism in Kenya, to the Third Reich....

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A Secret Gift

A Secret Gift

Ted Gup

A timely and powerful work of America at its worst - and Americans at their best - woven from the stories of Depression-era families who were helped by gifts from the author's generous and secretive grandfather. Ted Gup, and the...

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The Great Explorers

The Great Explorers

Robin Hanbury-Tenison

Profiles forty of the worlds greatest explorers, from Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

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Across the Revolutionary Divide: Russia and the USSR, 1861-1945

Across the Revolutionary Divide: Russia and the USSR, 1861-1945

Theodore R. Weeks

Across the Revolutionary Divide: Russia, 1861-1945 presents an ambitious interpretive account of Russian history from the abolition of serfdom by Alexander II to the end of World War II.

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The American Civil War

The American Civil War

John Keegan

The American Civil War was one of the longest and bloodiest of modern wars. In this magisterial history of the first modern war, the distinguished military historian John Keegan unpicks the geography, leadership and strategic...

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Europe's Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War

Europe’s Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War

Peter H. Wilson

The horrific series of conflicts known as the Thirty Years War (1618-48) tore the heart out of Europe, killing perhaps a quarter of all Germans and laying waste to whole areas of Central Europe to such a degree that many towns and...

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A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World's Greatest Empire

A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World’s Greatest Empire

J. C. McKeown

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Memory Is Another Country: Women of the Vietnamese Diaspora

Memory Is Another Country: Women of the Vietnamese Diaspora

Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen

Based on in-depth oral narratives of forty Vietnamese women, it deals with themes both universal and specific to this diaspora: divergent memories in families, the significance of homeland, the return to Vietnam, cross-cultural...

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Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788

Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788

Richard Broome

'In this book Richard Broome has managed an enviable achievement. The vast sweeping story of Aboriginal Australia from 1788 is told in his typical lucid and imaginative style... ' Professor Lynette Russell, Centre for Australian...

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The Wreck of Western Culture: humanism revisited

The Wreck of Western Culture: humanism revisited

John Carroll

Humanism built western civilization as we know it today. Its achievements include the liberation of the individual, democracy, universal rights, and widespread prosperity and comfort. So runs the approved view. It is not shared by...

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Snitch!: A History of the Modern Intelligence Informer

Snitch!: A History of the Modern Intelligence Informer

Steve Hewitt

Gives an account of how some citizens actively assist state surveillance by informing on others, such as during the Cold War and the campaign against terrorism. The author provides a study of human informers - people who secretly...

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Macquarie: From Colony to Country

Macquarie: From Colony to Country

Harry Dillion, Peter Butler

In 1810 Lachlan Macquarie became governor of New South Wales. He ruled the colony for 12 years. The story of Macquarie's governorship is in many ways the story of early Australian history. His term encompassed the key events of...

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Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia 1788 - 1868

Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia 1788 - 1868

Tony Moore

This is the first narrative history that brings together the stories of the political prisoners sent as convicts to Australia from all over Britain and parts of the British Empire. Tony Moore asks who were these prisoners, and...

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The Poor Relation: A History of Social Sciences in Australia

The Poor Relation: A History of Social Sciences in Australia

Stuart Macintyre

The Poor Relation examines the place of the social sciences - from economics and psychology to history, law and philosophy - in the teaching and research conducted by Australian universities. It also relates the arrangements made...

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