Shortlist year: 2015

Shortlist category: Australian history

Published by: New South Publishing

Nation is the third and final volume in the landmark history of Australia. Told from the point of view of settlers from Europe, it covers nation-making, Federation and the tragedy of World War I.

The culmination of a career in the writing and teaching of Australian history, The Europeans in Australia series, is ambitious and unique, and is the first such large, single-author account since Manning Clark's 'A History of Australia'.

About the author

Alan Atkinson

Alan Atkinson was born in Sydney and grew up in southern Queensland. He was an undergraduate at Sydney University and has a PhD from the Australian National University in Canberra.

He has been a Fulbright Scholar and a Visiting Fellow at the universities of Cambridge, London and Melbourne, and at the Australian National University.

Judges’ comments

This third and final volume in the series covers the period from the 1870s to the end of World War I; the Great War leaving a deeper imprint than Federation in 1901 and signifying a closure with the past.

It was an era of self-awareness in Australian speech, educational reform and increased global connection through the telephone.

Atkinson explores the dominant issues of the time in fine detail, and embellishes the narrative with the voices of personalities who comment on their experience of events and environment.

Concluding his epic trilogy, Atkinson softly bemoans his unfulfilled hopes for a 'moral community' based on a national consensus to share land and prosperity following the High Court's Mabo and Wik judgments.