Dr Thomas Gunn graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2008 with a PhD in History, specialising in Australian colonial studies. From Reel to Disc is his fourth book, having previously written Diverse Lives (Launceston, 2006), More Diverse Lives (Launceston, 2011), and Wheelchairs and Billycarts: The History of St Giles (2013) (researcher). Dr Gunn contributed to the Companion to Tasmanian History (Hobart, 2005) and the Australian Dictionary of Biography as well as a number of journals. He has also been the convenor of the Low Head Annual Historical Conference since 2005.
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