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True Girt (The Unauthorised History of Australia #2)
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True Girt

(The Unauthorised History of Australia #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  601 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
First there was Girt. Now comes ...

True Girt

In this side-splitting sequel to his best-selling history, David Hunt takes us to the Australian frontier.

This was the Wild South, home to hardy pioneers, gun-slinging bushrangers, directionally challenged explorers, nervous indigenous people, Caroline Chisholm and sheep. Lots of sheep.

True Girt introduces Thomas Davey, the hard
Paperback, 433 pages
Published 2016 by Black Inc.
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David Hunt Hi Tia. It's definitely a read for adults or more mature young people who understand and appreciate irony. The main purpose of my books is to…moreHi Tia. It's definitely a read for adults or more mature young people who understand and appreciate irony. The main purpose of my books is to communicate Australian history in an interesting and entertaining way. If you think Bill Bryson, but a little darker... I write with humour, but some of that humour can be dark.(less)
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David Hunt
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I am sad that I'm not the first person to review my book. I always wanted to be first at something.... This book has been a labour of love and I hope that others enjoy it. Stay absurd, Australia.
4.5 stars.

David Hunt's first book, Girt, covers Australian history in New South Wales from prehistory to the end of the Lachlan Macquarie era in the 1820s. This second volume backtracks to the settlement of Van Diemen's Land in 1803, and goes on to cover the convict era, the gold rushes, the settlement of Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland, exploration, and bushranging before ending with the death of Ned Kelly in 1880.

It's a lot of ground to cover, but every step of th
Eve Dangerfield
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. So much so it's difficult to put into words. It was funny (my sister and I have been exchanging lines all week) touching and in many places depressing as all hell. Why? Well history kind of sucks. Humanity is a shitty beast and it did/is still doing, some seriously shitty things to poor people, black people, women and members of the LGBTQI community.
It's hard to hear about the convicts and supporters of liberal values who rose to power and turned against the very cau
This series is able to put some new light into Australian history by looking at the foibles and idiosyncrasies of notable (and not so notable) officials, bushrangers, convicts, explorers, settlers and the poor Aboriginals. It is a humorous history so it makes easy reading.
However, I found the constant footnotes to be distracting and inconsistent. I would have preferred the humour to be in the text and the footnotes to add more on facts or related info; but that is just me. Some of the footnotes
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simultaneously immensely serious and immensely funny: an unusual, but enthralling, take on Australian history.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better than its predecessor, True Girt is a humourous and heartfelt stroll through the highways and byways of the first century or so of the European colonisation of Australia. It's firmly in what historians like Keith Windschuttle would call the 'black armband' view of Australian history, (i.e. the accurate one), and all the better for it. Treating its various subjects with both sympathy and detached humour, it's a dense read but a worthwhile one.

There are deeper dives into the various cor
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As the first volume, so the second - brilliant.
Both laugh-out-loud funny and sad and horrible at the same time, Hunt has done as he set out to do. And the little nuggets of information (e.g. John Batman suffered from syphilis and didn't have much of a nose), often in hilarious footnotes, make the history all the more memorable.
People say history is boring - they're reading the wrong books.
Bring on volume 3!
Aristotle Webb Katanos
True Girt by David Hunt

A book after my own heart. True Girt may very well be the best piece I’ve read this year. I think all reviewers carry personal biases and I’m about to show mine in full force. True Girt is everything it needs to be: It’s digestible, it’s funny and it’s Australian.

First and foremost, True Girt understands where it sits tonally and with regards to it’s depth. It covers almost over a half a century of history with great detail while still remaining accessible to all readers e
Ryan Brinkworth
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful compendium of corrections to the shiny Australian history I learned at school. Hunt calls a spade a spade, and is understandably even more direct toward the Irish, Tasmanians, & early hipsters. It's nice to see a rich context of Australia's foundation presented in such an entertaining way. It's clear from my positive review, I'm not from South Australia.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If only David Hunt had been around when I studied Australian History
Richard Hughes
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read - the telling of Australian History with humour makes this hard to put down. No punches pulled on perhaps a less romantic version of our history...
Emma Bothwell
Feb 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it jumped around too much, or maybe listening as an audio book to all the footnotes interspersed throughout made it feel choppy, but I couldn't get into this book. After realizing this I played through it by having it on in the background as I was doing other things, only getting my attention hooked by random tidbits that came up rather infrequently. I love the idea of using wit and humour to explore the history of a nation, I'm just not sure this book achieved that for me.
Takudza Madanha
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant way to fill in the gaps in your Australian history. You get to find out what happened to Indigenous Tasmanians, who Tullamarine, Stuart and Brisbane was and why strange politicians keep coming out of Queensland.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, australia-n
This needs to be the standard history textbook taught at schools.

Brilliant take-down of Windshuttle.
David Brown
Unlike Girt, I found this book a slog. It had similar humour but somehow it had lost much of its appeal. The text seemed laboured to me. I was glad when I got to the end.
John gilbert
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again, bravo Mr Hunt for explaining Australian history to us all with a very large quantity of humour and bizarreness. A bit more scattered than Girt, but still interesting and irreverant. I did find it frustrating that the footnotes, although adding to the story, did not indeed do what footnotes in history books usually do, provide reference to what has been written. An example was at the start of chapter 7 where Charles Patient (sometimes referred to at Patent when I did google him) and h ...more
John Collings
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I travel to different places in the world, I like to pick up a book from the place so I can understand a little more about where I have just been. Most of the time these are history books, and even though I learn a lot from them, they usually really bore me with their prose. I cannot say the same thing about David Hunt's prose. The well he tells of the taming of this wild country and the problems it had with squaters, bushrangers, and aborigones was fun to read. It was interspersed with eno ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia, history, 19c
Enjoyed it and appreciated the research. It's a curious mix of genuine historical research, modern polemic, and humour along the lines of Dave Barry's hilarious "Dave Barry Slept Here" and the much older "1066 and All That". One of the things I appreciated in this and the previous volume was Hunt's drawing attention to the contemporaneous nature of events and how people that our history teachers treated as almost discrete lumps of historical fact actually intermingled and influenced each other. ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading Girt, I was really excited to see this second volume on the shelves. I bought it for my son for Christmas as he had loved the first addition also. My son was reserved in his response to it and said he'd discuss after I'd read it, which surprised me as he had told anyone who would listen about Girt and how good it was. I'm not sure what David Hunt had in mind with this one. The main text is as engaging and enjoyable as the first book. The constant footnotes, only some of them adding ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
While the tag lines promoting this book highlight the humour, this is history that doesn't flinch from the dark side of our past and from pricking the mythology that has so often been used to 'whitewash' and paint as heroes the many dodgy (and that's putting it mildly) personalities which have framed the development of Australia as we know it today ... thank goodness for the pithy, humourous and often insightful asides David brings to the 'story'. As some-one who studied Australian history, not ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good history book provides a vivid mirror on the current times, and this is exactly what this book does. The author's cat has left telltale paw prints on these pages of history but these can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth (kindle edition). In these days we have largely failed to learn the errors of our ways, and the mistakes and atrocities largely remain hidden to public knowledge. We continue to repeat the errors of our past and our failings of today are too frequently repetitious of o ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still funny, still engaging, but seems somehow less fresh than Girt and the endless footnotes are starting to get a bit annoying -- at points it gets bogged down in trivia that is neither interesting nor relevant.

True Girt also covers a less than illustrious period in Australian history - the frontier war massacres - and Hunt must have faced a difficult task to deal with these while maintaining the humorous tone of the book. This is an unenviable challenge, and at times he succeeds in getting t
Richard Marman
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very detailed look at early Australia, and what a mean nasty lot they were. I don't know why anyone would want to claim they're convict descendants. But to be fair they were harsh times and we shouldn't judge folk back then from the comfort of our well-padded arm chairs.
I enjoyed the read although the 'all-things-white-are-bad-all-things-black-are-good' theme was punched long after we got the message.
Nevertheless there is a mountain of historical gen in this volume, which although qui
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hopeless drunks, self-aggrandizing incompetents, fraudsters or outright criminals - some or all of these words seem to apply to just about all the leaders of government or business in our country's history - even reformers like Wentworth and Parkes, the Father of Federation, do not escape David Hunt's pen - but I doubt many of us will be surprised, as we have seen enough shenanigans even in our time.

This book occasionally made me laugh out loud, but the shameful treatment of our indigenous popul
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the satirical style of this history. I have taught Australian History for many years, so this was a fun way to revisit lots of people and stories from past class rooms. Underneath the humour were some very powerful evocations of the suffering of Indigenous Australians at the hands of the colonisers. Lots of good reasons why we should change the date of Australia Day! Looking forward to the next one in this series.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Australian history should have always been taught like this instead of months of drawing boring explorer maps. Good to listen to, dipping in and out of it when the mood strikes.
More snarky than the first book - not a criticism - just an observation, although Tasmania does seem to cop it a bit more than other states.
Meg Johnson
I have to admit that I didn't entirely finish the book, but it's only because I had too many other reads on my "to do" list. I listened to it on Audible and found it both hilarious and tragic. David Hunt is incredibly clever with his wording. It's the sort of book that can be picked up any time and used as a "dip in" experience.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books of Australian history, and certainly the funniest - without it being incorrect.

Should be on all high school reading lists. It would involve students a lot more than the usual boring history, that center mostly around the British Empire victories - which is often plain bollocks.

Highly recommended.
Rozpoz Lee
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Hunt is my favourite historian. For the longest time, I felt like I was the odd one out, seeing history the way I did. He's an ACTUAL historian who thinks the way I do, and now I know I'm not so crazy. Well... if I AM crazy, at least this cool guy is in the crazy category with me. That's fine with me.
Rebecca Radnor
REALLY funny book. I Listened to the Audible version read by the author. It's a bit more convoluted than #1 in the series --- and a lot longer, but still if you're wanting to get your head around Australian history while being highly entertained, this is the way to go
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David Hunt's first book "Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia" won the Australian 2014 Indie Award for Non-Fiction Book of the Year. The award is bestowed by Australian independent booksellers, who clearly have excellent taste.

Girt was also shortlisted for the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, the Australian Book Design Awards and wa

Other books in the series

The Unauthorised History of Australia (2 books)
  • Girt (The Unauthorised History of Australia #1)
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