The Making of Australia

A Concise History

By Robert Murray

In The Making of Australia, historian Robert Murray draws on a lifetime's fascination with Australian history, giving a clear, concise history of the country. From the coming of the first Aborigines perhaps 60,000 years ago, to the election of the Abbott government in 2013, Murray traces the forces that have shaped the nation. In Murray's mainly chronological account, the main periods and events in the Australian story are presented. The content is political, social, and economic, showing how these strands of Australian life interacted in eras of exploration, in boom periods and depressions, in droughts, and in a number of wars. The transition from a convict society to a free one is traced, as is development of a representative government and of Federation, the growth of cities, and the careers and influence of key politicians. A notable feature is the systematic treatment given to Aboriginal-settler relations and how they have evolved over more than two centuries. In doing this, Murray briefly presents both sides of the controversies that have led to heated disputes in recent times. This is done in a way that allows the reader to continue to follow developments and modern debates. He is similarly even-handed in his consideration of the White Australia Policy, and the reforms and scandals of the Whitlam era and the Dismissal, and still unresolved questions relating to climate and to refugee policy. Another strength of the book is the manner in which Murray puts developments in a broad international context, as Australians negotiate their heritage and their geographical location. The book's illustrations include many cartoons from the periods covered, which give added insights into contemporary attitudes. *** "...superb reference and resource, ideal for personal edification, classroom study, or college and public library collections." - Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch: June 2015, The World History Shelf [Subject: History, Australian Studies]

272 pages

Publication Date: 4/23/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781925078152

Available in other formats