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Books of the year for 2016

24 December 2016 633 views No Comment

By Professor Ross Fitzgerald
For me, the most important book of the year is a co-authored work published by the nimble Melbourne publisher, Hybrid. This finely researched and brilliantly written, hugely significant and thoroughly accessible scholarly work is by Australian Jewish writers Sam Lipski & Suzanne D. Rutland – “Let My People Go: The untold story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89.”

Two extremely revealing books about communism follow this fine work of and about Australian history and politics. The first fearless expose is Sheila Fitzpatrick’s “On Stalin’s Team: The years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics” and the second is a jointly written work about Soviet spies down under by Peter Monteath & Valerie Munt namely “Red Professor: The Cold War Life of Fred Rose.”

Out of a fine crop of books for the year, my final three for 2016 are the masterful Geoffrey Blainey’s “The Story Of Australia’s People. The Rise And Fall Of Ancient Australia”; Doug Morrissey’s radical reassessment of our favourite outlaw, “Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life” and Karen Lamb’s beautifully rendered biography of the iconic Australian writer and proto- feminist, Thea Astley, subtitled “Inventing her own Weather”.

Emeritus Professor of History & Politics at Griffith University, Ross Fitzgerald is the author of 39 books, including a memoir “My Name Is Ross: An Alcoholic’s Journey”, and the co-authored political/sexual satire “Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure”.

Professor Fitzgerald is a judge on the Australian History and Non-Fiction panels for the Prime Ministers Literary Awards.

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