Australians, Thomas Keneally's widely acclaimed three volume history of the Australian people from origins to Vietnam, gave us a robust, vibrant and page-turning narrative that brought to life the vast range of characters who have formed our national story.Australians: a short history brings these three volumes together and reintroduces us to the rich assortment of contradictory, inspiring and surprising characters who made a young and cocky Australia.It is the story of the original Australians and European occupation of their land through the convict era to pastoralists, bushrangers and gold seekers, working men, pioneering women, the rifts wrought by World War I, the rise of hard-nosed radicals from the Left and the Right, the social upheavals of the Great Crash and World War II, the Menzies era, the nation changing period of post-war migration and Australia's engagement with Asia. This is a truly masterly history of Australia and its people by an author of outstanding literary skill whose own humanity permeates every page.Praise for Australians, the three volume history'... giving us what Australian history has desperately needed for years.' Canberra Times'Keneally evokes these distant lives with concrete detail and vivid sympathy ... his people inhabit the same world we do - we meet them without the hesitation of reaching across voids of space and time.' Sydney Morning Herald'When it comes to writing page-turning narrative no one does it better than Thomas Keneally ... no doubt about it, Australians is a corker.' Weekend Australian'Reading this book is like listening to a witty raconteur.' Adelaide Advertiser'This new perspective on Australia's founding fathers is truly fascinating.' Courier Mail'... what this book does is populate the blankness of our collective memory with lots of characters from all parts of the continent and all walks of life.' Saturday Age
Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and, as well as writing many novels, has shown an increasing interest in producing histories. His history of Irish convictism was entitled The Great Shame and was published in all the English language markets. The same was true of his later work, The Commonwealth of Thieves, which looked upon the penal origins of Australia in a way that sought to make the reader feel close to the experience of individual Aboriginals, convicts and officials. His novels include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler's Ark, The Daughters of Mars, Shame and the Captives and his most recent work, Crimes of the Father. He has the won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Prize, the Scripter Award of the University of Southern California, the Mondello International Prize, the Helmerich Prize. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Judy, and is a fierce supporter of the Manly-Warringah Rugby League team.