About Australians: Flappers to Vietnam
Australia emerged from World War I into a decade of profound change, characterised by a revolution in behaviour amongst the young; by the first great age of consumerism; and by secret right wing armies and the growth of the Communist Party.
As in the two previous volumes of Australians, Thomas Keneally brings history to vivid and pulsating life as he traces the lives and the deeds of Australians known and unknown. He follows the famous and the infamous through the Great Crash and the rise of Fascism, and explains how Australia was inexorably drawn into a war that led her forces into combat throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Pacific. At home an atmosphere of fear grew with the fall of Singapore and the bombing of Darwin, the Japanese advance and then the arrival of General MacArthur.
The 1950s-depicted by some as an age of full employment, by others as the age of suburban spread and boredom under the serene prime ministership of Robert Menzies-were as complicated as Menzies himself. Most Australians believed there would be nuclear war before the end of the decade. The Korean War and British testing of the atomic bomb in South Australia were seen as preludes. With the defection of the Soviet spy Ivan Petrov, Australians were convinced they were living in the last of days. On the street, the face of Australia was undergoing an Italian, Greek and Slavic-led change. And in even greater upheaval, Asian trade and immigration were coming our way as we advanced towards a war in Vietnam and the firming of the American alliance. The result of masterly writing and exhaustive research, this volume of Australians brings our more recent history to vibrant and robust life.
About Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally is one of Australia’s best known and most respected authors, writing both fiction and non-fiction and is celebrating 50 years as a published author in 2014.
Feted at a recent gala event by the cream of Australian literary and film circles (including Fred Schepsi, Kathy Lette, David Williamson and Brian Brown), Tom Keneally is a true Australian treasure.
His most recent novel Shame and the Captives tells the story of a POW camp in a small Australian town very much like Cowra, Daughters of Mars follows two sisters who become nurses during the First World War. He is most famous for Schindler’s Ark (made into the movie Schindler’s List by Steven Speilberg) and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith among others. Tom’s first novel, A Place at Whitton has been reissued in an anniversary edition.
Tom’s fiction includes The Widow And Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award), An Angel In Australia and Bettany’s Book. His novels The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers For The Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People’s Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.
Tom has also undertaken an ambitious and wide-ranging history of Australia in three volumes, Australians: Origins to Eureka (Volume One) and Australians: Eureka to the Diggers (Volume Two) traces the people who have formed our national story. Volume Three, which extends to the present day is due out in November.
Tom Keneally has the won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Prize, the Scripter Award of the University of Southern California, the Mondello International Prize and the Helmerich Prize. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Judy.