More than a decade after his death, Manning Clark remains Australia's most eminent and controversial historian. A Short History of Australia, considered by many to be his greatest work, charts the nation's social, cultural and political growth from the arrival of that first shipload of English convicts at Sydney Cove to the late twentieth century - with remarkable breadth of vision. His observations are as entertaining as they are enlightening.In this new edition, a postscript by his son Sebastian Clark brings the book right up-to-date, revealing many enduring parallels between the past and present.
Born in Sydney in 1915, Manning Clark won scholarships to Melbourne Grammar School and the University of Melbourne. He later attended Balliol College, Oxford, and in the early 1940s taught history at schools in England and Australia. He was a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne and, later, Professor of History in the School of General Studies, Australian National University. In 1972 he became the first Professor of Australian History and was awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney. His classic text, the six-volume History of Australia (1962-1987) popularised the study of Australian history. In June 1975, Clark was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his writing of the History, and was named Australian of the Year in 1980. He is the author of the two volume autobiography- The Puzzles of Childhood (1988) and The Quest for Grace (1989). Professor Clark died in May 1991.