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1956: The Year Australia Welcomed the World

Nick Richardson

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Scribe Publications
04 November 2019
History; Australasian & Pacific history; Social & cultural history; Olympic games
An engrossing account of a pivotal year in Australia's history.

This book debunks one of the hardiest cliches in Australian history- that the 1950s was a dull decade, when the nation seemed only interested in a quiet life, a cup of tea, and a weekend drive. The truth is that, by the time the '60s came around, Australia was already expanding its outlook - politically, economically, and culturally - and central to this were the events of 1956.

This was the year when Melbourne hosted the Summer Olympics, the first edition of the Games to be held outside Europe and North America. It also heralded the arrival of television in Australia. In this year, Prime Minister Robert Menzies grappled with world politics, when he opened the country's doors to refugees from the Hungarian uprising, allowed British nuclear tests at Maralinga, and tried to resolve the greatest diplomatic episode of the decade- the Suez Crisis. In these ways and more, the world came to Australia's doorstep in 1956, challenging rusted-on habits and indelibly shifting the nation's perception of itself.

Nick Richardson peels back the layers to reveal Australia at a critical moment in time. He brilliantly recreates the broader events surrounding the Melbourne Olympics at the end of 1956, as well as the dramas of the Games themselves. Throughout, he also follows a range of men and women who were touched by this transformation, to illuminate the personal consequences of being part of Australia's pivotal year.
By:   Nick Richardson
Imprint:   Scribe Publications
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   485g
ISBN:   9781925322910
ISBN 10:   1925322912
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   04 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nick Richardson is an author, academic, and journalist who has written for a range of publications in England and Australia. He has a PhD in history from the University of Melbourne and is Adjunct Professor of Journalism at LaTrobe University. He lives in Melbourne.

Reviews for 1956: The Year Australia Welcomed the World

Nick Richardson captures the feel not only of a unique Olympics, but of a unique time in Australian history. He uses the Olympics as the lens through which to view some of the most profound developments in Australia and the world...This book pulls back the blinds on what was a vitally important year in Australian--and world--history...Nick has the rare ability to blend an historian's eye for the critical detail with a journalist's nose for the underlying human story to deliver a compelling read...simply an excellent storyteller. --Michael Gleeson, The Age


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