"This is a many-layered story that depicts the making and the remaking of a nation: a social history extending from the trials of the frontier to the hedonistic urban society of the present day; a psychological history describing how the mass or the mob gradually permitted individuals to challenge the country's inherited values; and a cultural history that begins with the harsh, arid earth and shows how the stark reality has been transformed into art thanks to the creative skills of generations of Australian photographers." "It is also a personal journey of rediscovery undertaken by a writer who quit Australia at the age of twenty and has now come to see it again, with fresh, wondering eyes, through these photographs. Though Peter Conrad's focus is local, the emotions with which he deals are universal. For this is a book about the memory of home, and our lifelong homesickness; it is impelled by a craving we all share, as we reclaim the past by consulting our family albums to remind ourselves where we come from and who we are."--BOOK JACKET.