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 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The ultimate work of historical reference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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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