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Australians Volume 3: Flappers to Vietnam

by Thomas Keneally

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 was born in 1935 in country New South Wales to Irish Catholic parents. As a child he dreamed of becoming a famous sportsman. In 1958 he entered the seminary but left in 1960 before being ordained. He had a number of different jobs and became for a time a schoolteacher. Keneally published his first book The Place at Whitton in 1964. He won the Miles Franklin Award in consecutive years for his novels Bring Larks and Heroes (1967) and Three Cheers for the Paraclete(1968). He was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times before being the first Australian ever to win it, in 1982, for Schindler’s Ark. This book formed the basis of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar Award-winning film Schindler’s List. His novel The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith was made into a film by Fred Schepisi. The author played a cameo role. Thomas Keneally has written over thirty books, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as plays and essays. He is an ardent Republican and was the founding chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. In 1983, Keneally became a member of The Order of Australia and in 1997 was named as an Australian Living Treasure.



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