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History ANZAC TREASURES Peter Pedersen
Commemorating the centenary of the Great War’s 1915–16 Gallipoli campaign, ANZAC Treasures: The Gallipoli Collection of the Australian War Memorial approaches the subject of Gallipoli not only from a military perspective, but also in terms of its social impact and its role in nation building. It does so by drawing on the Memorial’s immensely rich and varied National Collection, which provides a tangible link to ANZAC and gives an unparalleled insight into its many facets. The campaign’s legend and reality are encapsulated within the relics, photographs, artworks, documentary records, personal diaries and letters included in this beautifully designed and produced volume.
BURKE & WILLS Peter Fitzsimons
Fitzsimons has tackled some of Australia’s most mythologised historical moments (Eureka, Gallipoli, Kokoda) and also some of our country’s most legendary historical figures (Charles Kingsford-Smith, Nancy Wake, Douglas Mawson) in his many books. Now he takes on both myth and legend in a thoroughly researched, lengthy and lively volume. Early on, he talks about bringing ‘the story part of this history alive’, and he certainly does that, with a great deal of narrative flair. Fitzsimons applies this flair to the small details of the expedition as well as to the big questions such as the explorers’ motivations, and ultimately the debate about ‘who really was most to blame for the debacle’. A great re-examination.
BER DECEM SE A E L E R
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A blend of history, cultural studies and memoir, Australian Gypsies is a warm work of non-fiction that looks to a part of Australian history that has long been left out of the conventional narrative. Sayer tracks the experiences of the Roma in Australia, from the arrival of beer enthusiast James Squire in 1785 to the modern-day Gypsy families that she meets and interviews. Including sections dedicated to the Roma’s traditions and customs, along with a language glossary, intimate colour photographs, and even a recipe for an Australian Gypsy Stew, Sayer’s genuine curiosity and respect for her subject matter is evident throughout the book and her clear-eyed approach confidently dispels many of the myths surrounding the Roma.
6.Who has been described as a 'wild ambisexual night crawler'?
NLA PB $39.99
Covering the fishing habits of Australia’s indigenous people, the endeavours of colonial-era anglers, the development of the early fishing industry and the simple pleasure of baiting a fish somewhere in the great outdoors, historian and fishing enthusiast Anna Clark documents the history of fishing in all its shapes, forms (and sizes) in Australian waters. Wonderfully researched and written, The Catch melds historical detail and social observation in a book that is sure to hook both the weekend angler and anyone who wants to delve a bit deeper into the story of fishing in Australia.
Simon Schama Bodley Head PB $35 The second volume of Schama’s illustrated cultural history of the Jews.
A THOROUGHLY UNHELPFUL HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN SPORT Titus O’Reily Michael Joseph PB $34.99 Part history, part social commentary, but mostly a lot of nonsense about Australian sporting culture.
Allen Lane HB WAS $69.99 NOW $59.99
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GOD: A HUMAN HISTORY Reza Aslan
Bantam PB $35
Iranian–American author, TV presenter and academic Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth) has written a history of God spanning the origins of spiritual thought to the concept of an active, engaged, divine presence that underlies all creation. Aslan examines how the idea of God arose in human evolution, was gradually personalised, endowed with human traits and emotions, and eventually transformed into a single divine personality: the God known today by such names as Yahweh, Father and Allah.
Highly Recommended BELONGING: THE STORY OF THE JEWS 1492–1900
THE CATCH: THE STORY OF FISHING IN AUSTRALIA Anna Clark
THE ENIGMATIC MR DEAKIN Judith Brett
A portrait of Australia’s second prime minister by one of the great chroniclers of Liberal Party history, The Enigmatic Mr Deakin shines fresh light on one of the nation’s most significant figures. Brett goes behind the image of a worthy, bearded father of Federation to reveal the gifted, passionate and intriguing man whose contributions continue to shape the contours of Australian politics. Having scrutinised Deakin’s private papers, she has an insight into both his public and inner lives, and here reveals a solitary, religious character who found much of the business of politics distasteful, especially its unabashed self-interest, double-dealing and lack of intellectual rigour. And yet politics is where Deakin chose to do his life’s work. Brett posits why he did so in this eminently readable and insightful biography.
AUSTRALIAN GYPSIES: THEIR SECRET HISTORY Mandy Sayer
Simon & Schuster HB WAS $49.99 NOW $39.99
BENEATH ANOTHER SKY Norman Davies
In 2012, historian Norman Davies set off on a global circumnavigation. Beneath Another Sky: A Global Journey into History and Memory is his account of the places he visited and the history he found there. As in his bestselling Vanished Kingdoms (Penguin PB $29.99), Davies’ historical gaze penetrates behind the present to see how things became as they are, and how peoples came to tell themselves the stories that make up their identities. Human beings have been travelling – pushing out others or arriving in terra nullius – since the beginning of recorded time. So to whom is a land truly native? As always, Davies has his eye on the historical horizon as well as on what is close at hand, brilliantly complicating our view of the past.
EMPORIUM: SELLING THE DREAM IN COLONIAL AUSTRALIA Edwin Barnard
Think truth in advertising is sorely lacking today? Ha! Try colonial Australia. All kinds of false claims were made, especially for patent medicines with miraculous curative powers. But this book is about more than preposterous promises. It uses the advertisements of the day to give us a fascinating glimpse into various aspects of life in colonial Australia, from fashion to farmwork, from families to fun. Advertisements were for more than just products – they spoke volumes about attitudes and assumptions. Many of the ads here are amusing (will those strange new cannabis cigarettes really relieve asthma?), some are objectionable and some, like the ad for an electric hairbrush that can cure baldness, seem all too familiar.
THE HARBOUR Scott Bevan
Over the years, Sydney Harbour has seen many changes and occupied many roles: a source of wealth via ship-trade; the site of Japanese submarine invasion; a playground for the rich and famous; and a must-see tourist destination. This book is arranged around the different areas, coves and landmarks within the harbour. Author Scott Bevan physically travels its perimeters via kayak, yacht and ferry, reflecting as he does so on its pivotal role in Australia’s social, cultural, artistic and political history, from early European exploration to today.
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THE BIG PICTURE: TOWARDS AN INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY
THE BUTCHERING ART
TINKERING: AUSTRALIANS REINVENT DIY CULTURE
VICTORIA: THE QUEEN
Jonathan Perlman (ed.) Australian Foreign Affairs PB $22.99 The first issue of the quarterly Australian Foreign Affairs features contributions from Allan Gyngell, Linda Jakobson, Paul Keating, George Megalogenis and others.
Katherine Wilson Monash University Publishing PB $29.95 Wilson documents DIY culture as an undervalued form of material scholarship, social connection, psychological sanctuary and political activism.
Lindsey Fitzharris Allen Lane HB $39.99 A gripping account of how a young Quaker surgeon, Joseph Lister, transformed the history of medicine by using antiseptics in the operating theatre.
Julia Baird HarperCollins PB $35 Baird’s acclaimed biography tells the story of the tiny but hugely powerful woman who reigned over the British Empire for an astonishing 64 years.
THE DESPOT’S APPRENTICE
Brian Klaas Scribe PB $27.99 A former NATO, EU and US campaign advisor explains Donald Trump’s increasingly authoritarian tactics and the threat they pose to American democracy.
Paul Ham William Heinemann HB $32.99 An investigation of the childhood, war record and early career of the man who would become the Führer.