The Fatal Shore

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Overview

The history of the birth of Australia which came out of the suffereing and brutality of England's infamous convict transportation system. With 16 pages of illustrations and 3 maps.

"...In his marvelous new history, he brings convict Australia to life both in his own words and those of its inhabitants..."--Chicago Sun Times

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Overview

The history of the birth of Australia which came out of the suffereing and brutality of England's infamous convict transportation system. With 16 pages of illustrations and 3 maps.

"...In his marvelous new history, he brings convict Australia to life both in his own words and those of its inhabitants..."--Chicago Sun Times

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hughes, art critic at Time, offers a vast and entertaining history of his native land's early years as a ``thief colony,'' i.e., the place to which, beginning in 1788, Britain transported some 160,000 convicts. ``The book abounds with stories of these exiles,'' PW wrote. February
Library Journal
For 80 years between 1788 and 1868 England transported its convicts to Australia. This punishment provided the first immigrants and the work force to build the colony. Using diaries, letters, and original sources, Hughes meticulously documents this history. All sides of the story are told: the political and social reasoning behind the Transportation System, the viewpoint of the captains who had the difficult job of governing and developing the colonies, and of course the dilemma of the prisoners. This is a very thorough and accurate history of Australian colonization written by the author of the book and BBC/Time-Life TV series The Shock of the New . A definitive work that is an essential purchase for both public and academic libraries. BOMC and History Book Club main selections. Judith Nixon, Purdue Univ. Libs., W. Lafayette, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780099448549
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/2009
  • Pages: 688
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Hughes has been art critic for Time magazine since 1970. His major eight-part BBC/Time-Life television series, The Shock of the New, was the basis for his 1981 book of the same title, and he is also the author of several earlier books. Hughes has made more than thirty television films on the visual arts, including a ten-part series on the art of Australia. He was born and educated in Sydney, Australia, and now lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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(5)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Australia/US connection

    This book was purchased for preparation for our only trip to Australia. The travel guide book we have talks about visiting prison/ museum and this sparked my interest in learning more about the history. The Aboriginal story of Australia is pretty well documented, but I knew very little about the English penal colony history.
    The connection that threw me a loop, is after 1776, and the Revolutionary war, the US refused to have any more English convicts brought to her shores (In History class, all I remember is the Mayflower...) among other reasons, because 47,000 slaves were coming to our shores yearly from the African continent, greater numbers than England could send for cheap labor.
    England had chosen to not build or repair their prisons, so kept sending them to off-shore countries, and Australia was that far-off colony that could be easily forgotten about.
    I am only into chapter 3, and appreciate the amount of information Robert Hughes has that is not included in school history books. I think the trip to Australia will be much more interesting for having read this book, and from today's economic wows, I also see historically, Americans, as well as other Western cultures, are addiction to cheap labor (whether it is on our shores, or in developing/under developed countries).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I read this book when it first came out in paperback about 20 ye

    I read this book when it first came out in paperback about 20 years ago or so. I was riveted to it back then and have remained so since. Robert Hughes writes an 841-page history of the founding of Australia as a convict colony in 1788 until its demise as such a century later. And he does so in such an easy to read and comprehend method that it is like reading a James Mitchener saga instead of a history book. If you are interested in this subject at all, this book is for you. I was so glad to see it come out in nook book format since I loaned out my well-worn paperback version and never got it back.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2003

    An Aussie 'Must Read'

    A vast, absorbing tale of Australia's beginnings. It was a wonderful introduction before our trip Down Under, but by itself the book is a fascinating history. How does a great country arise from a penal colony? This book answers the question.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    The Fatal Shore is a compelling read on the history of Australia

    The Fatal Shore is a compelling read on the history of Australia, England’s ruthless transportation of tens of thousands of prisoners and its colonization of Australia. A must for anyone interested in the early years of life Down Under, the victimization of the aborigines, and Britain’s vast reach historically and in the present.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Enlightening

    I read this because I'm planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand in a few months. It's not a "pretty" read, but tells the story. Scholarly but not dry. It fills in the background of the English social and political situations at the time which led to transportation as the means of dealing with "crime and criminals".

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2002

    Boring

    I could not finish this book. How mistreated and destitute the convicts were is overstated and reiterated throughout not only the book or each chapter, but on almost every page.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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