Great South Land


Rob Mundle - 2015
    On 15 January 1688 - almost 100 years to the day before Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Botany Bay as commander of the First Fleet - another English ship, the sixteen-gun Cygnet, was running downwind on a gentle breeze while closing on the coast of the same continent. Cygnet, however, was 2000 miles to the north-west of where Phillip would anchor HMS Sirius and go ashore to finally establish the first British colony in the Great South Land. To get to this point, Cygnet had crossed the Pacific from the coast of Mexico to the East Indies with a 140-man crew comprising a bunch of unruly seafarers, young and old ... and pirates all.

Hell West and Crooked


Tom Cole - 1988
    His experiences, as he has collected them together in Hell West and Crooked, will surely become an Australian classic.

Venice: A History


John Hagy Davis - 1973
    But they provided the city's founders with a refuge from the barbarians who had invaded their mainland homes. With energy and ingenuity, these displaced people created a maritime empire of unequaled splendor. At its height, the Republic of Venice was said to encompass "one quarter and one half of one quarter" of the known world. During those years, its merchant princess lived more lavishly than many kings. With the discovery of the New World, however, Venice's trading monopolies were broken. The long, slow decline that followed was protracted and infinitely poignant. Today, the decaying buildings adjoining the Rialto Bridge serve as haunting reminders of the bygone age of La Serenissima, the Most Serene Republic. Here is the dramatic story of the city that was once known as the most beautiful in the world - the bride of the Adriatic and the unchallenged mistress of the Mediterranean.

The Ghost and the Bounty Hunter: William Buckley, John Batman and the Theft of Kulin Country


Adam Courtenay - 2020
    A few months later, the local Aboriginal people found the six-foot-five former soldier near death. Believing he was a lost kinsman returned from the dead, they took him in, and for thirty-two years Buckley lived as a Wadawurrung man, learning his adopted tribe's language, skills and methods to survive.The outside world finally caught up with Buckley in 1835, after John Batman, a bounty hunter from Van Diemen's Land, arrived in the area, seeking to acquire and control the perfect pastureland around the bay. What happened next saw the Wadawurrung betrayed and Buckley eventually broken. The theft of Kulin country would end in the birth of a city. The frontier wars had begun.By the bestselling author of The Ship That Never Was, The Ghost and the Bounty Hunter is a fascinating and poignant true story from Australian colonial history.

A Concise History of Australia


Stuart Macintyre - 2000
    In addition to frontier violence between European settlers and Aborigines and the Stolen Generations, the volume covers the Sydney Olympics, the refugee crisis and the "Pacific solution."

Daughter of the Territory


Jacqueline Hammar - 2015
    In 1919, her father arrived there on the back of a camel. By the time Jacqueline was born, he’d become a mounted trooper, working in a succession of outback towns chasing down murderers and cattle thieves. Jacqueline’s childhood was spent in isolated bush settlements until her parents sent her to boarding school in Darwin to be ‘civilised’.After finishing school, Jacqueline found herself drawn back to the Territory where she soon met and fell in love with cattleman, Ken Hammar. Together they moved to one of the most inaccessible regions in the Top End. Starting out in a bark hut they’d built themselves, hard work and determination saw them prosper until they had a thriving million-acre cattle station with a more comfortable house, where they brought up their two children.A larger-than-life tale of adventure, survival and love in some of Australia’s most isolated country, Daughter of the Territory is an extraordinary autobiography that zips along at a cracking pace, with one entertaining yarn after another.Jacqueline and Ken Hammar are now in their eighties and live in the hinterland of the Gold Coast.

A History Lover's Guide to Washington, DC: Designed for Democracy (History & Guide)


Alison B. Fortier - 2014
      Alternating between site visits and brief historical narratives, this guide tells the story of Washington, DC, from its origins to current times. From George Washington’s Mount Vernon to the Kennedy Center, trek through each era of the federal district, on a tour of America’s most beloved sites. Go inside the White House, the only executive home in the world regularly open to the public. Travel to President Lincoln’s Cottage and see where he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. And visit lesser-known sites, such as the grave of Pierre L’Enfant, the city’s Botanical Gardens, the Old Post Office, and a host of historical homes throughout the capital. This is the only guide you’ll need to curate an unforgettable expedition to our shining city on a hill.

The Low Countries: A History


Anthony Bailey - 2016
    Here, from British historian and New Yorker senior writer Anthony Bailey is the dramatic story of the Low Countries - Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg - from the early days of nomads and barbarian invaders to the birth of towns and cities to the rise and decline of world prominence and finally to the dark and tragic days of World War II.

The Rainy Season


Amy Wilentz - 1989
    In the tradition of Joan Didion and Paul Theroux, this highly acclaimed writer/reporter offers a vivid portrait of today's Haiti--where during the day the streets are filled with bustling markets while at night they are filled with gunfire.

Mailman of the Birdsville Track: The Story of Tom Kruse


Kristin Weidenbach - 2003
    He made the run every fortnight and was a lifeline to the isolated settlements and stations along the way, delivering everything from letters to essential supplies.

Bali: Heaven and Hell


Phil Jarratt - 2014
    Bali: Heaven and Hellis a tale begging to be told - a story of survival in the face of genocide, natural disaster, terrorism, cultural imperialism and corruption on a grand scale. Go behind the smiling face presented to generations of tourists and expats with Phil Jarratt, the award-winning author of over 20 books including Surfing Australia: A Complete History of Surfboard Riding in Australia and That Summer at Boomerang. Phil has first-hand experience of the glorious island at the morning of the world, having spent the past 40 years falling in and out of love with our favourite holiday destination.Jarratt weaves a page-turning story of treachery, deceit, debauchery and wholesale slaughter, set against the idyllic backdrop of a paradise on Earth, then cleverly segues into a modern-day tale of jaw-dropping surf, karma, sexual abandon, and a fusion of East and West that created the modern tourist hot spot.David Hill, Chairman, National Geographic Channels US

The Walt Disney World That Never Was: Stories Behind the Amazing Imagineering Dreams That Never Came True


Christopher E. Smith - 2016
    Want to join them? This is your guidebook to the theme park that Disney never built.In this unique, extensively researched book, Christopher Smith discusses the many attractions, shows, and resorts that were planned for Walt Disney World, from opening day to the present day, but that exist only in the minds of Imagineers.You'll find old "favorites" such as Thunder Mesa and Beastly Kingdom, as well as those lost to the pixie dust of time, like Dick Tracy's Crime Stoppers, the Enchanted Snow Palace, and Buffalo Junction. Smith looks at the politics and internal struggles behind the decision to shelve each concept, and imagines what guests might have experienced.Every park at Walt Disney World—Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios—has its hidden cache of "lost" attractions. They're all here, along with the many resort hotels that Disney intended to build, but didn't.Put aside those guidebooks of the Walt Disney World that is, and come to a vacation kingdom that you can visit only if you find the second star to the right and then keep straight on till morning.

Australia: A Biography of a Nation


Phillip Knightley - 2000
    The shocking treatment of the Aborigines, the determination of Australians to make a clean break from the ills of the Old World and create a new society where everyone had a "fair go", the love-hate relationship with Britain that led to the slow but traumatic detachment from "the Mother Country," drive this sweeping story of a people whose discovery of the "middle way" could serve as a guide for our future.

Vanderbilt's Biltmore


Robert Wernick - 2012
    But ambition quickly took wing. The house swelled to 225 rooms and became - until 2012 when it was topped by the home of a billionaire in Mumbai, India – the world’s largest residence ever built for a private citizen. Here’s the story of the house that Vanderbilt built - from the gardens by Frederick Law Olmsted to the John Singer Sargent portraits that adorn its walls.

Charles Kingsford Smith And Those Magnificent Men


Peter FitzSimons - 2009
    In an era in which aviators were superstars, Smithy was among the greatest and, throughout his amazing career, his fame in Australia was matched only by that of Don Bradman. Among other achievements, Smithy was the first person to fly across the Pacific, he broke the record for the fastest flight from England to Australia, and at one point he held more long-distance flying records than anyone else on the planet. If that wasn't enough, Smithy was also a war hero, receiving the Military Cross for gallantry in action after being shot - and losing three toes - during one of many flying missions during World War I. Smithy was not the lone adventurer of the skies. Early aviation drew to it a company of daredevils who all challenged gravity and fear.This comprehensive biography, written with typical flair by bestselling author Peter FitzSimons, covers the triumphs and tragedies of not only Kingsford Smith's daring and controversial life but also those of his companion aviators.