In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are.
Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock," and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
It recounts the misfortunes of the escaped Irish convicts who set out to walk from Sydney to China, guided only by a hand-drawn paper compass, and explains the role of the coconut in Australia's only military coup.
Our nation's beginnings are steeped in the strange, the ridiculous and the frankly bizarre. Girt proudly reclaims these stories for all of us.
Not to read it would be un-Australian
"A sneaky, sometimes shocking peek under the dirty rug of Australian history." - John Birmingham
"Hilarious and insightful -- Hunt has found the deep wells of humour in Australia's history." - Chris Taylor, The Chaser
Far from his fellow Australians and with Japanese forces closing in around him, the eighteen-year-old Ryan endures the hardships of the jungle, overcoming loneliness, fatigue and fear with quiet courage. He finds beauty in the rugged mountain landscapes of New Guinea, and admires the charm and resourcefulness of its people.
Rarely out of print in the past four decades, Fear Drive My Feet is a classic memoir of the war in the Pacific, a major work of Australian war literature. For the work he describes in this book, Peter Ryan was awarded the Military Medal and mentioned in dispatches.
Peter Ryan has been a newspaper columnist, the director of Melbourne University Press and an officer of the Victorian Supreme Court. He was an intelligence operative behind enemy lines in New Guinea in World War II. He lives in Melbourne.
‘Outstanding.’ Peter Pierce
‘A moving account of a young man’s lonely heroism.’ Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop