Geoffrey Blainey is one of Australia's most significant and popular historians. He has written some 36 full-length books including The Tyranny of Distance, Triumph of the Nomads, Black Kettle and Full Moon, A Short History of the 20th Century, Sea of Dangers, A Short History of Christianity and the best-selling A Short History of the World. Professor Blainey held chairs in economic history and then in plain history at the University of Melbourne for 21 years. He was a delegate to the 1998 Constitutional Convention and also chaired various Commonwealth government bodies, including the Australia Council, the Literature Board, the Australia-China Council, and the National Council for the Centenary of Federation. He is one of the few Australians whose biography appears in Encyclopaedia Britannica.