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A Concise History of Australia (Cambridge Concise Histories) Paperback – June 30, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0521735933 ISBN-10: 0521735939 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Concise Histories
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 3 edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521735939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521735933
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'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 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

'Macintyre's book is the best short history of Australia since Manning Clark's classic of 1963.' The Times Literary Supplement

Book Description

The third edition of this acclaimed book recounts the key factors - social, economic and political - that have shaped modern-day Australia. It covers the rise and fall of the Howard government, the 2007 election and the apology to the stolen generation.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Gream on July 12, 2000
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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on November 24, 2000
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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christian Ristow on February 20, 2009
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.
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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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