• Publication Date: November 26, 2015
  • EAN: 9781760020453
  • 224 pages; 6" x 8⅝"


Australia’s Greatest Story


Product Description

The editors of this book boldly proclaim that Eureka is Australia’s ‘greatest story’, and they have gathered together some of our country’s finest historians to prosecute the case. Collectively, they compile a strong argument. In the late 19th century that acute American observer, Mark Twain, called the Ballarat rebellion ‘the finest thing in Australasian history’ and, like all such milestone moments in any country’s expanding tale, Eureka challenges because of the sheer number of interpretations that have been imposed upon it, both before Twain and after. During the sesquicentenary year of Eureka, 2004, one journalist rightly observed that Eureka ‘is not so much history as many versions of history’. The question of who ‘owns’ the Eureka story is destined never to be answered, but one thing is certain: the superb Charter of Bakery Hill, an irresistible sequence of goldfield events leading to tragedy, a cast of characters drawn straight from a classic novel, violence and murder on an early Sabbath morning in December 1854, and a never-ending aftermath that arguably has had more energy within it in the 20th and 21st centuries than it had in the 19th – these extraordinary elements of a grand narrative will forever stimulate the Australian imagination. Eureka: Australia’s Greatest Story is certain to stoke the fires.

About the Editors
Notes on Contributors
List of Illustrations

1. Remembering the Eureka Stockade
John Molony

2. ‘A Victory Won by a Lost Battle’: What Eureka Means to Australians Today
Andrew Leigh and TW Gibbings

3. The Eureka Legacy: Conserving Core Principles
John Uhr

4. ‘The Next Throb of Outraged Humanity’: Australia in a Revolutionary Age
Clare Wright

5. America, Young America and Eureka
David Headon

6. ‘Who are the Traitors?’: Rethinking the Eureka Stockade
Paul Pickering

7. Eureka Britannia: Civic Republicanism and the Politics of Rebellion in the British World
Benjamin T Jones

8. The Oath Beneath the Southern Cross
James Warden

9. Crowning Points of Fire: Some Poems and Songs of Eureka
Jeff Brownrigg

10. Eureka in the 1980s
Frank Bongiorno

11. Contested Museum Memories of Eureka
Anne Beggs-Sunter

The Literature of Eureka – A Selection


The events that took place at the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat in December 1854 have been frequently written about by Australian historians and two of the authors in this collection, John Molony and Clare Wright, have written major studies on the subject. This work, however, says little about the events of December 1854 and assumes that the reader understands the Eureka narrative. The purpose of all 11 essays in this collection is to examine aspects of the contemporary impact of Eureka and its subsequent place in Australian literary and political life. All the essays in this collection offer a fascinating look at the impact of Eureka. … Eureka Australia’s Greatest Story offers a valuable analysis of why the battle between diggers and troops at Ballarat in December 1854 remains pertinent to Australians today. In addition to the essays, there is a valuable selection of writings on Eureka which would make an excellent teaching resource. – Charles Fahey, Labour History, May 2018

The collection contains some valuable information and discussion, especially about the local significance of Eureka and its context in the history of political ideas. … The volume attests to Eureka as a living tradition… Read full review… – David Goodman, Australian Historical Studies, July 2017

This is a book for those with an interest in Australian history and for those tired of reading boring stamp duty cases, tax cases and the like. … The work is well indexed and footnoted. It is of moderate length at 203 pages and contains some interesting illustrations as well as recent photographs including one of Whitlam QC posing with a Eureka Flag alongside (who will ever forget) Al Grassby denoted as “A Friend of the Flag”. … Make a note in your diary to obtain a copy. Read full review… – Michael Campbell, Hearsay, August 2016, 76

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