Bestselling author Thomas Keneally brings to life the vast range of characters who have formed our national story, in the second volume of a unique history of Australia.
In this companion volume of Thomas Keneally's widely acclaimed history of the Australian people, the vast range of characters who have formed our national story are brought vividly to life. Immigrants and Aboriginal resistance figures, bushrangers and pastoralists, working men and pioneering women, artists and hard-nosed radicals, politicians and soldiers all populate this richly drawn portrait of a vibrant land on the cusp of nationhood and social maturity.
From the 1860s to the great rifts wrought by World War I, an era commenced in which Australian pursued glimmering visions: of equity in a promised land. It was a time of social experiment and reform, of industrial radicalism and women's rights. We were a society the world had much to learn from, or so we believed. But as much as we espoused we were a special people and celebrated a larrikin anti-authoritarianism, we retained provincial objectives that saw ultimate respect for society's structures. There was no Australian revolution.
With a rich assortment of contradictory, inspiring and surprising characters, Tom Keneally brings to life the people of a young and cocky nation. This is truly a new history of Australia, by an author of outstanding literary skill and experience, and whose own humanity permeates every page.
Praise for Australians:
'No doubt about it, Australians is a corker.' - Cassandra Pybus, Weekend Australian
'...the story of Australia and the Australians could be in no better hands than Keneally's.' - West Australian
'Keneally evokes these distant lives with concrete detail and vivid sympathy...his people inhabit the same world we do - we meet them without the hesitation of reaching across voids of space and time. - Sydney Morning Herald
'[Australians]will appeal to the general reader and the avid historian alike, and this is only the first volume. This reader can't wait for the second.' - Bookseller + Publisher
Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and, as well as writing many novels, has shown an increasing interest in producing histories. His history of Irish convictism was entitled The Great Shame and was published in all the English language markets. The same was true of his later work, The Commonwealth of Thieves, which looked upon the penal origins of Australia in a way which sought to make the reader feel close to the experience of individual Aboriginals, convicts and officials. His novels include Bring Larks and Heroes, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, Schindler's Ark and The People's Train. He has the won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Prize, the Scripter Award of the University of Southern California, the Mondello International Prize, the Helmerich Prize. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Judy, and is Number 1 ticket-holder of the Manly-Warringah Rugby League team.