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A Concise History of Australia Paperback – Dec 27 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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A Concise History of Australia
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (Dec 27 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521601010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521601016
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,768,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

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

Book Description

This is the most up-to-date single-volume Australian history available. This revised edition incorporates the most recent historical research and contemporary historical debates on frontier violence between European settlers and Aborigines and the Stolen Generations. It covers the Sydney Olympics, the refugee crisis and the 'Pacific solution'. Essential reading for residents and visitors alike.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have long wanted to read a general history of Austrailia, and when I read. on April 3, 1988, The Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes, I said to myself, in my post-reading note: "I am glad I read this book, but maybe I'd've done better to read a plain history of Australia than this long account of this aspect of its beginning." I am shamed to say that it has taken over 12 years to do what I thought I should have done back then. This book goes up to 1999, and portrays very well the current dilemmas facing Australia. If you enjoy the articles in Current History, as I do, this book reminds me of those articles, except it is less bland and neutral. Ordinarily I avoid histories with designations such as "short" or "concise" figuring that I want a fuller treatment. But when one knows as little of a country as I do of Australia, I thought this a good introduction to its history.
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Format: Paperback
Stuart's work is an excellent overview of Australian history from the dreamtime to the present. He captures the major periods and events that shaped the progress of Australia towards federation and beyond, into the current malaise over national identity and the development of a unique and identifiable cultures.
Modern thought increasingly accepts the indigenous problems that were part of Australian colonisation, and Stuart probes these and other contemporary issues by drawing from both sides of the debate. He illustrates research that examines the language of overland explorers, to determine whether they were 'exploring' or 'conquering', and he comments on modern interpretations of the constitution by the high court. Readers not well versed in Australian issues may pass over these slights of hands without understanding their importance in the nature of forging an Australian history, culture and identity.
I would recommend this book as a necessary overview for any person interested in the history of the country, including potential tourists.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book and rapid delivery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa37d9f78) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa37f5d80) out of 5 stars Very good modernist view of Australian history July 12 2000
By M. Gream - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Stuart's work is an excellent overview of Australian history from the dreamtime to the present. He captures the major periods and events that shaped the progress of Australia towards federation and beyond, into the current malaise over national identity and the development of a unique and identifiable cultures.
Modern thought increasingly accepts the indigenous problems that were part of Australian colonisation, and Stuart probes these and other contemporary issues by drawing from both sides of the debate. He illustrates research that examines the language of overland explorers, to determine whether they were 'exploring' or 'conquering', and he comments on modern interpretations of the constitution by the high court. Readers not well versed in Australian issues may pass over these slights of hands without understanding their importance in the nature of forging an Australian history, culture and identity.
I would recommend this book as a necessary overview for any person interested in the history of the country, including potential tourists.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa37f5dd4) out of 5 stars Informative and well-written Nov. 24 2000
By Schmerguls - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have long wanted to read a general history of Austrailia, and when I read. on April 3, 1988, The Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes, I said to myself, in my post-reading note: "I am glad I read this book, but maybe I'd've done better to read a plain history of Australia than this long account of this aspect of its beginning." I am shamed to say that it has taken over 12 years to do what I thought I should have done back then. This book goes up to 1999, and portrays very well the current dilemmas facing Australia. If you enjoy the articles in Current History, as I do, this book reminds me of those articles, except it is less bland and neutral. Ordinarily I avoid histories with designations such as "short" or "concise" figuring that I want a fuller treatment. But when one knows as little of a country as I do of Australia, I thought this a good introduction to its history.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa37f7228) out of 5 stars Interesting subject matter buried under impenetrable language... Feb. 20 2009
By Christian Ristow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One has the sense, when slogging through this book, that there is interesting material here. The inclusion of information about the aboriginals who inhabited Australia before 1778 is laudable. However, as has been noted previously, the language is just too difficult to read. The sentence structure is so complicated, and the vocabulary so obscure, that it feels as if it were written 100 years ago, when the English language was in a different stage of evolution.

I was actually unable to finish the book. At a certain point Macintyre begins to discuss at length the activities of "the Chartists." However, he makes no attempt to establish who the Chartists were, what they stood for, or why they were called the Chartists. That was it for me.... I cut my losses and put it down.

I am just beginning Robert Hughes' "The Fatal Shore," and so far it is infinitely more engaging.
HASH(0xa37f75e8) out of 5 stars Worth a read July 21 2016
By Al Singh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Until I read this book I did not realize the degree of conflict between the settler-descended population and the Aborigines. This seems to be a legacy that Australia is still struggling with, and the author takes a rather more critical and less patriotic view of the situation than most Australian historians. The problem of identity and what the country stands for now that it is no longer a part of the British Empire seems to be a lingering issue as well, but here the author strikes a more optimistic note, arguing that Australia can rightfully take its place in the world as a preserver and promoter of liberal democracy. This book was interesting in ways that I did not expect; I expected to read stories of the Outback and the exploits of barely reformed derelicts; instead I found my attention drawn to issues that are common to all developed democratic countries. Definitely worth a read.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa37f7594) out of 5 stars A gift for someone...sight un-seen April 12 2014
By Merv Hines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought for a friend in the United States. Took a punt on the contents and was told that it was good, as they are thinking of coming down-under for a visit.


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