The Lucky Culture

About the book

A provocative book about Australia's national identity and how it is threatened by the rise of a ruling class. Nick Cater tracks the seismic changes in Australian culture and outlook since Donald Horne wrote The Lucky Country in 1964. The overriding principle of Australia’s pioneers was fairness: everybody had the right to a fair go. Today that spirit of egalitarianism is being eroded by a new breed of sophisticated Australians who claim to better understand the demands of the age. Cater takes stock of the rift dividing this presumptive ruling class from a people who refuse to be ruled.

Rendezvous with Destiny

About the book

In the dark days between Hitler's invasion of Poland and the attack on Pearl Harbor, a group of highly unorthodox emissaries dispatched to Europe by President Franklin D. Roosevelt paved the way for America's entry into the war....

Madeline: A Life of Madeleine St John

About the book

Helen Trinca has captured the troubled life of Madeleine St John in this moving account of a remarkable writer. After the death of her mother when Madeleine was just twelve, she struggled to find her place in the world. Estranging herself from her family, and from Australia, she lived for a time in the US before moving to London where Robert Hughes, Germaine Greer, Bruce Beresford, Barry Humphries and Clive James were making their mark. In 1993, when The Women in Black was published, it became clear what a marvellous writer Madeleine St John was.

Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power 1799-1815

About the book

This second volume of Philip Dwyer's outstanding biography sheds further light on one of the great figures of history. After a meteoric rise, a coup in 1799 established Napoleon Bonaparte in government, aged just thirty. Dwyer examines the man in power, from his brooding obsessions and capacity for violence, to his ability to inspire others. One of the first modern politicians, Napoleon skilfully fashioned the image of himself that laid the foundation of the legend that endures to this day; Dwyer's ambitious work separates myth from history in its exploration of one of history's most...

Moving Among Strangers

About the book

Two literary lives defined by storytelling and secrets...

This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial

About the book

On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father's Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner's obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.

Private Bill

About the book

Barrie Cassidy's father Bill survived more than four years as a prisoner of war in World War II. He first saw conflict on Crete in May 1941. Just four days later, Bill was wounded and captured. His new wife Myra and his large family thought he was dead until news of his capture finally reached them. Back home, many years of silence after the war, unhealed wounds unexpectedly opened for Bill and Myra, testing them once again. Private Bill is a heart-warming story of how a loving couple prevailed over the adversities of war to live an extraordinarily ordinary, happy life.

Encountering the Pacific: In the Age of Enlightenment

About the book

This book surveys the consequent encounters between European expansionism and the peoples of the Pacific. John Gascoigne weaves together the stories of British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Russian voyages to destinations throughout the Pacific region. In a lively and lucid style, he brings to life the idealism, adventures and frustrations of a colourful cast of historical figures. Drawing upon a range of fields, he explores the complexities of the relationships between European and Pacific peoples.

Wild Bleak Bohemia: Marcus Clarke, Adam Lindsay Gordon and Henry Kendall

About the book

Meticulously researched using contemporary newspaper reports, court records, published memoirs, private letters and diaries, Michael Wilding tells the story of three troubled geniuses of Australian writing. The study spreads out to cover the early and later years of the three writers and in doing so, as its centrepiece, recreates literary and Bohemian life in Melbourne in the 1860s. It is aptly subtitled 'A documentary', since it shares many of the characteristics of that genre.

John Olsen: An Artist's Life

About the book

This biography graphically depicts the forces that drove John Olsen to become one of Australia's greatest artists. An exhilarating book, both trenchant and tender, it strips away the veneer of showmanship and fame to show the substance of a painter driven by a need to depict his country's landscape as Australians had never seen it before. From a child who was never taken to an art gallery, Olsen became the famous artist in the black beret, the writer and poet, the engaging public speaker, the bon vivant—whose life has been defined by an absolute need to paint.
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