'In this classic piece of Australian literary heritage, Russell Ward looks at the ideals, traits and behaviours Australians think as typical of themselves. His now famous, penetrating analysis of nineteenth century Australian history shows how the characteristically Australian traits first found expression in the frontier life of the nomad pastoral workers of the outback, eventually pervading Australian literature and life in general. Ward has drawn on both English and American literature, documents and statistics, journals and papers and perhaps most vividly of all, on Australian folk-songs and ballads for his account. First published in 1958, this important literary work is now available in a striking new jacket for a further generation of Australian readers.' (Publication summary)
'Northern Australia is rediscovered by each new generation of Australian politicians. Dams, mines, large transport projects, a food bowl for Asia and many other projects are promised and sometimes delivered, but then the political momentum fades away and the focus of attention turns to other issues. What is often missing in discussion is the region’s long history of nation-building initiatives and proposals, stretching back to 1901. Without this knowledge we are likely to repeat the mistakes of the past.
'Northern Dreams brings to life the passionate arguments about Northern Australia’s national significance and analyses the political debates that have periodically drawn the public’s attention northwards. It also highlights the role that Australian politicians such as Gough Whitlam, Ben Chifley, Robert Menzies and Bob Hawke played in shaping northern development policies to suit their times. Northern Dreams is the definitive history of the politics of northern development in Australia.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Ideas and expectations about colonial space and the making and remaking of real places lie at the heart of the early Australian colonies. Over the past forty years, and especially in the last decade, scholars have recovered much of that lost world, a world of polyglot diversity, constant movement, economic social and cultural expansion, cross-cultural encounters, relationships and appropriations, extraordinary adaptations, myriad connections and overlaid human geographies.
'Yet in the later nineteenth century, the colonies were also profoundly shaped by discontinuities in memory, place and experience, as wave upon wave of new arrivals started new lives literally unaware of what had happened earlier, or how these places had come to be. The success of later settlers was built upon those earlier foundations, and yet false assumptions about ‘gaol colonies’ and ‘savages’, twinned with assertions of legitimate occupancy and entitlement, easily captured the narrative as well as the literal ground, and are still widespread in Australian historiography, popular history and heritage today.' (Author's abstract)