'In 1810 Lachlan Macquarie became governor of New South Wales. He ruled the colony for twelve years, during which time its fate lay in the balance after years of famine and strife, culminating in a coup against its previous governor, William Bligh.
'The story of Macquarie's governorship is in many ways the story of early Australian history. No other governor etched his identity so indelibly on his times, nor left his name so well represented on Australian maps. Macquarie's term encompassed the key events of our country's crucial third decade of existence, and his governorship accelerated its progress from a jail to a colony of settlement, and from despotism to democracy. Unsurprisingly, the personal story of Macquarie's years is just as absorbing: a tale of aspirations fulfilled followed by a devastating fall from grace. This book is a timely reminder of Lachlan Macquarie's importance to modern Australians. It is a fascinating story of the genesis of a nation and of an extraordinary individual who refused to be confounded by the odds stacked against him.' (From the publisher's website.)