The bush: travels in the heart of Australia.

The bush: travels in the heart of Australia. Don Watson.

Melbourne: Penguin Books, 2014. Octavo, dustwrapper, photographs, illustrations, maps.

Most Australians live in cities or cling to the coastal fringe, yet our sense of what Australia is, is drawn from the vast and varied inland called the bush. But what do we mean by 'the bush', and how has it shaped our nation? Starting with his forebears' battle to drive back nature and make a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is: the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don't. Via mountain ash and mallee, the birds and the beasts, slaughter, fire, flood and drought, swagmen, sheep and their shepherds, the strange and the familiar, the tragedies and the follies, the crimes and the myths and the hope - here is a journey that only our leading writer of non-fiction could take us on. At once magisterial in scope and alive with telling, wry detail, The Bush lets us see our landscape and its inhabitants afresh, examining what we have made, what we have destroyed, and what we have become in the process. No one who reads it will look at this country the same way again. Also available in paperback [stock id 37558].

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