Atkinson, Alan: Europeans in Australia Vol. 3: Nation

Atkinson, Alan

The Europeans in Australia, Volume 3: Nation, NewSouth, Sydney, 2014

Follows Volume 1: The Beginning (1997)  and Volume 2: Democracy (2004).

This is the third and final volume of the landmark, award-winning series The Europeans in Australia that gives an account of settlement by Britain. It tells of the various ways in which that experience shaped imagination and belief among the settler people from the eighteenth century to the end of World War I. Volume Three, Nation, tells the story of Australian Federation and the war with a focus, as ever on ordinary habits of thought and feeling. In this period, for the first time the settler people began to grasp the vastness of the continent, and to think of it as their own. There was a massive funding of education, and the intellectual reach of men and women was suddenly expanded, to an extent that seemed dazzling to many at the time. Women began to shape public imagination as they had not done before. At the same time, the worship of mere ideas had its victims, most obviously the Aboriginal people, and the war itself proved what vast tragedies it could unleash. (blurb)

Won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction and the Victorian Prize for Literature. It is reviewed in Australian, Fairfax, and Stumbling Past blog.

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