Renowned historian and close friend of the ANU Australian Studies Institute (AuSI), Frank Bongiorno, has released a new book on the political history of Australia, titled Dreamers and Schemers.
This compelling and comprehensive work presents a social and cultural history of Australia’s political life, from pre-settlement Indigenous systems to the present day.
Depicting a wonderful parade of dreamers and schemers, Bongiorno surveys moments of political renewal and sheds fresh light on our democratic life. From local pubs and meeting halls to the parliament and cabinet; from pamphleteers and stump orators to party agents and operatives – this enthralling account looks at the political insiders in the halls of power, as well as the agitators and outsiders who sought to shape the nation from the margins.
A work of political history like no other, Dreamers and Schemers will transform the way you look at Australian politics.
AuSI’s Professor Mark Kenny caught up with Frank on this week’s episode of Democracy Sausage to discuss Australia’s political history and decipher the new book.
“One of the things I’ve tried to do in the book is not to focus exclusively on political leadership or political institutions, it’s also an effort to look at politics on the ground. What does politics look like from the bottom up - beginning with traditional aboriginal society, it begins pre-contact, and I had some pretty quick revisions of the conclusion to do on the two weekends after the May election.”
- Frank Bongiorno, Historian at ANU, on Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny
View an extract of Dreamers and Schemers via The Conversation.
Purchase a copy of Dreamers and Schemers via Black Inc Books.
About the author:
Frank Bongiorno is professor of history at the Australian National University and author of the award-winning The Sex Lives of Australians. He has written for the Monthly, the Australian and Inside Story.