Published: August 2020
At home, encircled by books, I assumed that my writing career, so precarious, would flourish...
For close to seventy years Professor Geoffrey Blainey has uncovered and chronicled our history. Now in his ninth decade and listed by the National Trust as a 'Living Treasure', Blainey turns to his own story, reflecting on the first forty years of his life, from his humble beginnings as the son of a Methodist minister and school teacher, to establishing his career as historian and writer.
One of five children, Blainey recalls a carefree childhood spent in rural Victoria, which ignited for him a great affection for the Australian landscape and a deep curiosity in Australia's history. A scholarship to Wesley College further instilled a great love of learning, which flourished later at the University of Melbourne as both student under Manning Clark, and lecturer. His groundbreaking early book The Tyranny of Distance offered Australians a new understanding of ourselves and catapulted a new phrase into the vernacular. Now the author of over forty books, Geoffrey Blainey claims he has discovered Australia's history his own way - and is still learning.
Warm, lively and lyrically written, Before I Forget recounts the experiences and influences that have shaped the astonishing mind of Australia's most remarkable historian. But in this book Blainey has given us something more - a fascinating and affectionate social history in and of itself.
'Before I Forget makes clear how Blainey's unique body of work was, and is, crucial to publicising the rising wave of clashing ideas throughout Australian intellectual life.' The Australian
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