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Publisher's Summary

After a lifetime of research and debate on Australian and international history, Geoffrey Blainey is well-placed to introduce us to the people who have played a part and to guide us through the events which have created the Australian identity: the mania for spectator sport, the suspicion of the tall poppy, the rivalries of Catholic and Protestant, Sydney and Melbourne, new and old homelands, the conflicts of war abroad and race at home, the importance of technology, the recognition of our Aboriginal past and Native Title, the successes and failures of the nation.
For this enlarged edition, Blainey has rewritten or expanded on various episodes and themes, making changes to almost every page. He has described significant events and trends of the early-20th century. A final chapter summarises key factors that shaped and still shape this country's history.
©2009 Geoffrey Blainey (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Part of Blainey’s magic is that his words float off the page. Here, too, are the puzzles, oddities and off-beat comparisons of his restless, quirky intelligence, constantly astonished and endlessly engaging." (The Age)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Allister on 09-24-12

Enjoyable chronology of the history of Australia

What did you love best about A Shorter History of Australia?

Covered a wide range of key events in Australia's history. The book was easy listening and well written for those interested in a brief history lesson.

What other book might you compare A Shorter History of Australia to and why?

Hard to compare because it deals with many subjects in a short space of time. My feeling would be that if you enjoyed this book you would also enjoy books like Kakoda and even Mathew Flinder's Cat (fiction)

What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

Always a great Narrator for any Australian story - didn't disappoint.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Jivanildo Pinheiro Miranda on 02-11-13

Good!

As expected the book is not detailed, but it covers the history of Australia in a amazing way. I deeply recommend it for everyone interested in Australia.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Anthony on 02-09-14

Readable overview of Australia's development

Interesting overview of Australia's development starting with Aboriginal settlement and adaptation to the land over 40,000 years ago and ending with Kevin Rudd's first stint as Prime Minister of Australia. Despite numerous developments since then, the bulk of this history - surveying such issues as colonisation, (somewhat limited) discussion of dispossession and violence against the Aboriginal peoples, participation in the first and second world wars, immigration, agricultural and natural resource exploitation and development, infrastructure development, urbanisation, sport as core to Australia's identity.

Blainey does a good job of surveying the big picture issues, illustrated at times with more detailed and personal stories, and general insights regarding politics, economics and history. As somebody who grew up overseas (and didn't learn much about Australian history at any earlier stage of my education) I found this informative, well written, engaging, and a good overview.

Blainey's work has been critiqued within the so-called "history wars" - reflecting the debates and contests about the degree of violence and dispossession suffered by Australia's first peoples. Blainey seeks to present a "balanced account" - but this just touches on the degree of contestation and dispossession that occurred and the current challenges within Australia. I would have been interested to hear still more on the important land rights decisions of Australian courts, the ongoing challenges to Australia's economy, the problems inherent in climate change denial, the harms of alcohol despite it being so throughly intertwined with day to day life and its narrative in Australia.

Well worth a listen!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Amazon Customer on 11-01-17

Enlighenting and entertaining

Very interesting book. Puts into perspective how much the isolation and climate of Australia played in determining its history. Good use of anecdotes to keep it light in parts. Disappointed that the Stolen Generation was not mentioned

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Customer Reviews

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By Anonymous User on 05-18-17

My fisrt book on Au history. loved the book.

I moved to Au in 2005 and was always eager to find books on Au history.
this was a perfect summary and i enjoyed learning about the highlights of this country's story. recommend it to all migrants like myself.

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By Luke on 01-01-16

a worthwhile introduction to Australian history

There are some very good insights contained in this abridged version, but ultimately it disappointed due to its lack of detail and almost newspaper-like rapid fire treatment of the last 50 years.

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