Murray, Robert: Making of Australia

Murray, Robert

The Making of Australia: A Concise History, Rosenberg, Kenthurst, NSW, 2014

From the coming of the first Aborigines perhaps 60,000 years ago, certainly 40,000, 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 all present. The content is political, social and economic, showing how these strands of Australian life interacted in eras of exploration, in boom periods and depressions and droughts, and in a number of wars. The transition from a convict society to a free one is traced, as is development of 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. (blurb)

The book is reviewed by Graham Freudenberg (Murray is more conservative but much cheaper than the Cambridge History), Lyndon Megarrity (Murray’s research has gaps) and Patrick Morgan (Murray is straightforward and fair-minded). Murray talks to Tony Thomas.

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