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Books of the year for 2016

24 December 2016 77 views No Comment

BOOKS OF THE YEAR FOR 2016.
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.