‘Sense & Nonsense in Australian History is an entertaining collection of essays which deserves to be read, re-read and debated by Australians interested in national identity.’ —Lyndon Megarrity, Overland
‘Hirst’s fine discriminations and historical digging helps us understand why Australia is one of the oldest and most stable democracies in the world’ —The Age
‘Essential reading for those who want to ponder, let alone write and teach about, Australian history’ —Robert Murray, Weekend Australian
‘A stimulating and engaging contribution to current debates over Australian history’ —Bulletin
‘One of Australia’s most productive historians’ —Ross Fitzgerald, Sydney Morning Herald
‘John Hirst is the gadfly of Australian history, stinging and provocative’ —Stuart Macintyre
‘One of the nation's most independent and original historians’ —Geoffrey Blainey
‘A powerful controversialist … a brilliant historian’ —Australian Book Review
‘Punchy, learned, witty’ —Canberra Times
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