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A Concise History of Australia

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Table of Contents

1. Beginnings; 2. Newcomers, c.1600-1792; 3. Coercion, 1793-1821; 4. Emancipation, 1822-1850; 5. In thrall to progress, 1851-1888; 6. National reconstruction, 1889-1913; 7. Sacrifice, 1914-1945; 8. Golden age, 1946-1974; 9. Reinventing Australia, 1975-2003; 10. What next?

Promotional Information

This insightful and eloquent book is the most up-to-date single-volume Australian history available.

About the Author

Stuart Macintyre has been the Ernest Scott Professor of History at the University of Melbourne since 1990 and is a former president of the Australian Historical Association. His books include The Oxford History of Australia, Volume 4 (1986), A Colonial Liberalism (1991) and A History for a Nation (1994), and more recently, The History Wars (2003). Since 1999 he has been Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne.


When you think about it, we've a tradition of Australian history being written by experts not light on strong opinions or idiosyncratic forms of expression - Russell Ward, C E W Bean, Geoffrey Blainey, Robert Hughes, and, of course, the inimitable Manning Clark. I've nevertheless always felt frustrated as a bookseller when asked to recommend a `good Australian history' for the general reader or tourist. Until now, that is. Stuart Macintyre's A Concise History of Australia, published in the `Cambridge Concise Histories' series, meets that need and more. It's a lively, intelligent, opinionated and very well written one-volume history, traversing some well-covered territory of colonial and 20th-century Australia with a fresh eye that doesn't fail to observe the big and small picture. Macintyre's interest in political history means that the machinations of class and power in both centuries get healthy mention, but he doesn't neglect cultural, sporting or other references. Most significantly, with an eye to our history being written by the winners, and to the significance of our times, he has repositioned the place of Aboriginal Australians in our history. This is a valuable and timely publication, sure to provoke response. David Gaunt is co-owner of Gleebooks, Glebe (NSW). C. 1999 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

From reviews of the first edition: 'At long last here is an accessible, sensible, learned and digestible history of Australia. It is a triumph of Stuart Macintyre's notable scholarship that he has come up with a book that is concise - not brief, not abbreviated - sharp and to the point ...this is a tremendously useful tool for locals and outsiders. It should sit on every Australian's bookshelf, next to the dictionary and the atlas.' Nick Richardson, Herald-Sun
'It's a lively, intelligent, opinionated and very well written one-volume history, traversing some well-covered territory of colonial and twentieth-century Australia with a fresh eye that doesn't fail to observe the big and small picture.' David Gaunt, Australian Bookseller & Publisher
'Macintyre has absorbed the considerable corpus of monographic and interpretative works now thronging this field, and is masterly in integrating that knowledge into his own narration. The result is a work of surpassing professional skill.' Michael Roe, Australian Book Review
'It's a splendid piece of work and it belongs to a noble tradition ... It conveys throughout a joy in writing history, in mastering the detail of the past - a joy especially in struggling with the soul of the country.' Alan Atkinson, Sydney Morning Herald
'Even those with a passion for the past often find it difficult to be enthused by the histories of 'new' countries. This excellent, compact volume about an ancient and harsh continent made anew over the last two centuries shows just why those prejudices should be put aside.' BBC History

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