Book Description: Now in paperback, the outstandingÂ first volume of acclaimed author Thomas Keneally's major new three-volume history of AustraliaÂ bringsÂ to life the vast range of characters who have formed Australia's national storyÂ Convicts and Aborigines, settlers and soldiers, patriots and reformers, bushrangers and gold seekersâ€”it is from their lives and their stories that Tom Keneally has woven a vibrant history to do full justice to the rich and colorful nature of Australia'sÂ unique national character. The story begins by looking at European occupation through Aboriginal eyes, movingÂ between the city slums and rural hovels of 18th-century Britain and the shores of Port Jackson. Readers spend time on the low-roofed convict decks of transports and see the bewilderment of the Eora people as they see the first ships of turaga, or "ghost people."Â They follow the daily round of Bennelong and his wife Barangaroo and the tribulations of warrior Windradyne. Convicts like Solomon Wiseman and John Wilson find their feet and even fortune, while Henry Parkes' arrival as a penniless immigrant gives few clues to the national statesman he was to become.Â Chinese diggers trekÂ to the goldfields, and revolutionaries like Italian Raffaello Carboni and black American John Joseph bringÂ readers the drama of the Eureka uprising. Tom Keneally has brought to life the high and the low, the convict and the free of early Australian society. This is truly a new history of Australia, by an author of outstanding literary skill and experience, whose own humanity permeates every page.