> Skip to content

Boom reveals the history of mining as the Australian story, for better or worse. Insightful, compellingly readable and full of extraordinary characters, it shows how mining and miners have shaped our history and gripped our imagination through boom and bust.

One of our finest writers on one of our most dramatic stories.

Mining divides the country – development against conservation, north and west against south and east, pro-tax against anti-tax. It's an important industry, but why do passions run so high? What does mining really mean to us? And how much do we understand about our underground history?

Although we favour the romantic vision of Australia riding to prosperity on the sheep's back, in reality we have always owed as much to the shovel. The gold rush kick-started the nation, populating our cities and building our regional centres, and our fortunes have since risen and fallen according to what we've been able to dig from the ground.

Boom is not a textbook history of Australian mining, but a narrative of the people behind the facts and figures, from the eccentric loners who staked the first claims to the emergence of the modern mega-magnates. It takes us deep underground with men working in mortal danger by candlelight, and on the extraordinary journey 25,000 tonnes of the raw Australian landscape makes from the Pilbara to Shanghai.

Boom reveals the history of mining as the Australian story, for better or worse. Insightful, compellingly readable and full of extraordinary characters, it shows how mining and miners have shaped our history and gripped our imagination through boom and bust.

'A shrewd and captivating work of history' Weekend Australian

'Knox asks questions on awkward topics and sieves a lot of history in the attempt to provide answers. Even those who disagree with some or many of his conclusions, must concede that he vigorously stirs a pot that is crucial' Geoffrey Blainey, The Sydney Morning Herald

'A must read for understanding the DNA of the nation' Charter

Reviews

Eye-opening detail ... Critically acclaimed for his fiction, Knox demonstrates a skilful ability in Boom to weave together detail, history and narrative, upholding his reputation as a masterful storyteller.

Readings

A shrewd and captivating work of history.

Weekend Australian

Tackles several of the politically hot topics in mining [and] traces major strands in the history of the traces major strands in the history of the industry ... Vigorous and often visual ... Knox asks questions on awkward topics and works through a lot of history in the attempt to provide answers. Even those who disagree with some or many of his conclusions, must concede that he vigorously stirs a pot that is crucial.

Geoffrey Blainey, The Sydney Morning Herald

A must read for understanding the DNA of the nation.

Charter

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780670076116

    August 21, 2013

    Viking

    416 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742537849

    August 21, 2013

    Penguin eBooks

    450 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Awards and Recognition

  • 2013
    Winner
    Best Book
  • Ashurst Prize for Business Literature
    2013
    Winner
    Best Book
  • FAW Award
    2013
    Highly commended
    Non-Fiction

Also by Malcolm Knox