It's early 1918, and after four brutal years the fate of the Great War hangs in the balance. On the one hand, the fact that Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks have seized power in Russia - immediately suing for peace with Germany - means that no fewer than one million of the Kaiser's soldiers can now be transferred from there to the Western Front. On the other, now that America has entered the war, it means that two million American soldiers are also on their way, to tip the scales of war in favor of the Allies.
From Paul Ham, winner of the NSW Premier's Prize for Australian History, comes the story of ordinary men in the grip of a political and military power struggle that determined their fate and has foreshadowed the destiny of the world for a century. Passchendaele epitomises everything that was most terrible about the Western Front. The photographs never sleep of this four-month battle, fought from July to November 1917, the worst year of the war.
"Very compelling - good story, good narration"
Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did. In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history.
"How the war started"
Packed with fascinating facts and insight, this book will fuel dinner party debate and provide listeners with the science and politics behind the world’s most controversial resource. Without oil, there would be no globalisation, no plastic, little transport, and a global political landscape that few would recognise. It is the lifeblood of the modern world, and humanity’s dependence upon it looks set to continue for decades to come. In this captivating audiobook, Vaclav Smil explains all matters related to "black gold", from its discovery in the earth, right through to the political maelstrom that surrounds it today.
"Absolutely Masterful! Comprehensive yet succinct."
This is the story of the three-year ordeal of the Sandakan prisoners of war - a barely known episode of unimaginable horror. After the fall of Singapore in February 1942, the Japanese conquerors transferred 2700 British and Australian prisoners to a jungle camp some eight miles inland of Sandakan, on the east coast of North Borneo. For decades after the Second World War, the Australian and British governments would refuse to divulge what happened here, for fear of traumatising the families of the victims.
"The japanese's shamefull past!"
On 25 April 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in present-day Turkey to secure the sea route between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. After eight months of terrible fighting, they would fail. Turkey regards the victory to this day as a defining moment in its history, a heroic last stand in the defence of the nation's Ottoman Empire.
"Like Lambs to the Slaughter"
Since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has had a powerful but controversial influence on global politics. In this informative guide, Norrie MacQueen provides a clear introduction to its institutions, remit, personalities, and role in the modern world. Defending the UN from common criticisms of bureaucratic paralysis and bias towards the developed world, MacQueen argues that its limitations are due to the complex web of national interests that it seeks to reconcile, and that despite criticisms the UN has had a positive influence on the modern world.
Once there was a wilderness: Australia's frontier, a dangerous and unforgiving place where outlaws ruled the roads and killers were hailed as heroes. It was here, in 1838, that one man's uncompromising sense of justice changed history and shocked the world. Denny Day was a vicar's son from Ireland. A member of the Anglo-Irish ruling class, as a young man Day joined the British army before resigning to seek his fortune in New South Wales. There he accepted the most challenging role in the young colony: keeping the peace on the frontier.
The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed more than 100,000 instantly, mostly women, children, and the elderly. Many hundreds of thousands more succumbed to their horrific injuries later, or slowly perished of radiation-related sickness. Yet the bombs were "our least abhorrent choice", American leaders claimed at the time - and still today most people believe they ended the Pacific War and saved millions of American and Japanese lives. Ham challenges this view, arguing that the bombings, when Japan was on its knees, were the culmination of a strategic Allied air war on enemy civilians that began in Germany.
"Amazingly detailed and balanced account."
In 1854, Victorian miners fought a deadly battle under the flag of the Southern Cross at the Eureka Stockade. Though brief and doomed to fail, the battle is legend in both our history and in the Australian mind. Henry Lawson wrote poems about it, its symbolic flag is still raised, and even the nineteenth-century visitor Mark Twain called it: "a strike for liberty". Was this rebellion a fledgling nation’s first attempt to assert its independence under colonial rule? Or was it merely rabble-rousing by unruly miners determined not to pay their taxes?
"A masterful piece of storytelling"
The first full-length biography of George Ingle Finch - maverick Australian mountaineer, scientist, concert pianist and father of actor Peter Finch. George Ingle Finch, mountaineer, soldier, scientist, rebellious spirit, boy from the bush, was in his day one of the most famous men in the world. In 1922 he stood at the highest point on Everest, a feat not bettered for 30 years. He invented the predecessor to the puffer jacket and pioneered the use of oxygen in climbing.
The extraordinary story of Australian sappers on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan. They are young, they are tough and they were the forward scouts in Australia's war against the Taliban. This is the story of the sappers, the Army engineers in Afghanistan who learnt their skills from the original Australian Tunnel Rats of the Vietnam War. Like their compatriots in Vietnam, the Tunnel Rats of Afghanistan have rutted out the enemy from deep inside their caves and hideouts....
"Good content, great accomplishments and very..."
In this fast-paced introduction, Ros King sets out to remind us of the sheer beauty and sophistication that can make Shakespeare’s works a joy for any audience. Exploring his invention and wit, along with his uncanny characterisation, King argues archaic language should be no barrier to the modern reader. This guide summarises the Bard’s life and background, detailing his plays and poetry in such a way that they are made accessible enough for everyone to admire.
"I Feel Sorry for English Teachers"
The world hasn’t met with destruction on any of the long list of predicted doomsday dates, but the possibility may have got you thinking: has science created more problems than it has solved? What is the point of science at all? Geoffrey Gorham considers these questions and explores the social and ethical implications of science by linking them to issues facing scientists today: human extinction, extraterrestrial intelligence, space colonisation, and more.
"A well done introduction to the subject"
CEW Bean's wartime reports and photographs mythologised the Australian soldier and helped spawn the notion that the Anzacs achieved something nation-defining on the shores of Gallipoli and the battlefields of western Europe. In his quest to get the truth, Bean often faced death beside the Diggers in the trenches of Gallipoli and the Western Front – and saw more combat than many. But did Bean tell Australia the whole story of what he knew?
At the age of 82, Rupert Murdoch is divorcing his third wife Wendi Deng and gearing up for the toughest challenge of his life: to hand his empire on to his children. But is this the end of the Murdoch dynasty? Lachlan doesn't want to succeed him. James is in disgrace. And Elisabeth is not a serious contender. His grip on the group has also been weakened by scandal. His British tabloids have been caught hacking phones and bribing officials on an industrial scale.
"Gripping and mind boggling"
In Quarterly Essay 49, Latham argues that the time has come to go beyond criticism to solutions. In that spirit, he offers a timely assessment of the future for Labor. He examines the key challenges: the union nexus, the Keating settlement, a real education revolution, a new war on poverty, climate change, and handling the Greens. With wit and insight, he suggests that Labor's biggest problem is the steady erosion of its traditional working-class base.