Professor Geoffrey Blainey is one of Australia’s most prolific and popular historians. He has written more than forty books, including The Tyranny of Distance, Triumph of the Nomads, A Shorter History of Australia, The Rush That Never Ended, and the international bestseller A Short History of the World, which was published in a score of lands as far apart as Brazil, India, Spain and China. He has served the federal government as chairman of the Commonwealth Literary Fund, the Australia Council for the Arts, the National Council for the Centenary of Federation, and the Australia–China Council. At the United Nations in New York, in 1988, Professor Blainey received the celebrated Britannica Prize ‘for exceptional excellence in the dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of mankind’. A recipient of Australia’s highest honour, Companion in the Order of Australia (AC), he has been officially listed for two decades by the National Trust as a ‘National Living Treasure’. He is married to the well-known biographer Ann Blainey.