Thomas Keneally's widely acclaimed three volume history of the Australian people from origins to Vietnam gave us a robust, vibrant and page-turning narrative that brought to life the vast range of characters who have formed the Australian national story. Here these volumes are brought together for a story that encompasses original Australians and European occupation of their land, the convict era, pastoralists, bushrangers and gold seekers, working men, pioneering women, the rifts wrought by World War I, the rise of hard-nosed radicals from the Left and the Right and the social upheavals of the Great Crash and World War II. Then the Menzies era, the nation changing period of post-war migration and Australia's engagement with Asia. This is a truly masterly history of Australia and its people by an author of outstanding literary skill whose own humanity permeates every page.
Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and, as well as writing many novels, has shown an increasing interest in producing histories. His history of Irish convictism was entitled The Great Shame and was published in all the English language markets. The same was true of his later work, The Commonwealth of Thieves, which looked upon the penal origins of Australia in a way that sought to make the reader feel close to the experience of individual Aboriginals, convicts and officials. His novels include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler's Ark, The Daughters of Mars, Shame and the Captives and his most recent work, Crimes of the Father. He 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, the Helmerich Prize. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Judy, and is a fierce supporter of the Manly-Warringah Rugby League team.