The Water Dreamers: The Remarkable History of Our Dry Continent

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Text Publishing, Aug 2, 2010 - History - 336 pages
Winner, Colin Roderick Award, 2010.

The Water Dreamers is a story for all Australians.

For thousands of years, water has shaped where we live, how we struggle with each other and how we imagine our country. The first settlers' dreams of mighty inland rivers evaporated in the silent deserts of Australia. But the water dreamers refused to accept this disappointment. They saw a country that could be transformed by irrigation and hydro-engineering. Today, thanks to their vision, many of our rivers are in crisis and, more than ever, Australians realise that our destiny will be shaped by water.

The Water Dreamers is an enthralling new account of Australian history and of who we are today.

'Both rollicking yarn and scholarly essay, this wonderful book offers an archaeology of our national psyche. With vivid imagery, irreverent wit and penetrating insight, Michael Cathcart exposes the cultural forces that still powerfully shape our plans for this land. The Water Dreamers is exhilarating to read-intelligent, wry and compelling.' Tom Griffiths

 

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The Water Dreamers

User Review  - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing

I'm glad for books like Michael Cathcart's The Water Dreamers. In recent years, history has been reinvigorated by taking new slants on old narratives. Here, Cathcart traces the familiar narrative of ... Read full review

Contents

The Valley of the Tank Stream
19
Mr Busbys Bore
39
Sounds of Water
66
The Myth of the Inland Sea
82
River of Dreams
99
Silence Victorious
124
Mapping the Silence
148
The Great Artesian Basin
166
Dick Hardwicke to the Rescue
179
Change of Heart
198
Australia Unlimited
219
New Beginnings
246
notes
261
acknowledgments
299
index
320
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About the author (2010)

Michael Cathcart was born in Melbourne in 1956 -- the year that television came to Australia. He was educated at Melbourne Grammar, the University of Melbourne, ANU and a tyre factory in Port Melbourne. He has worked as a schoolteacher, university lecturer and theatre director. Cathcart has presented several Radio National programs, including ‘Arts Today’ and the ‘Radio National Quiz’, and for ABC TV he has presented the history magazine show ‘Rewind’ and the documentary series ‘Rogue Nation’. Cathcart is the author of Defending the National Tuckshop (1988), an expose of a secret militia called the White Army, formed in Victoria in 1931. He has published an abridgement of Manning Clark’s epic A History of Australia and an anthology of Australian speeches. Michael Cathcart’s latest book is The Water Dreamers.

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