The much-anticipated second instalment of Geoffrey Blainey's history of Australia's people - his most ambitious work to date - that completes Australia's story from the Gold Rush to the present day.
Australia is indeed made up of many peoples, and together their story is one of high drama, courage and resilience.
When the first Europeans crossed the world to settle the vast southern continent that became known as Australia, it was almost unknown. Over time it revealed itself to be a land of reward, and sometimes despair. While the physical discovery of Australia and its resources was swift, the continent also had to be discovered emotionally. Later migrants brought more diversity - and complexity - to Australian life. Writers and painters, more than any other group, probed and shaped attitudes and emotions of Australians to and about their land. Aborigines, once silent, raised vital questions.
In this book Professor Geoffrey Blainey brings to life the key events and happenings of the past 170 years that have shaped us into the nation and people we are today- the gold rushes of the 1950s, frustrations of the land explorers, Federation, the world wars, the Depression, postwar migration and prosperity, land rights and the onrush of the latest technology. He examines how people lived, worked, played and prayed over generations, and explores what differences divide us - and all we share in common.
Blainey's The Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia traced the story of the Indigenous Australians from their coming ashore at least 50,000 years ago. It pieced together their ingenious way of life, and it's crumbling after the British arrived in 1788. That book ends in 1851, with the discovery of gold. The Rise and Rise of a New Australia carries the story - through momentous changes - to the present day. Together, the two books form The Story of Australia's People - the culmination of the lifework of Australia's most prolific and wide-ranging historian.
'Full of his trademark felicitous phrases and succinct snapshots ... the wide-angle viewpoint of a historian whose own life has encompassed a timespan of unimaginable change.' Weekend Australian Magazine 'In The Story of Australia's People- The Rise and Rise of a New Australia, Blainey 'just tells' the story. He understands narrative, how it must be disciplined as it unfolds, temptingly revealing this or that side-track and fleetingly appearing faces; how sometimes unsuspected or uninvited voices arise from narrative's potentially unruly array of possibilities; how, if you are sufficiently aware and skilful, references to hard-won, unpretentious or briefly relevant sources can be woven in to sentences that still maintain their integrity and relevance as story-carriers; how speculation can embroider and intrigue without distorting the essential, known story.' Australian Book Review 'A compendium of rich and fascinating detail, the result of Blainey's undiminished curiosity about and admiration for human endeavour.' The Age