Anyone looking for a superficial history of Australia will find it here. The book covers the beginnings of this continent, from her discovery and use as a British convict settlement, on to the gold rushes of the 1840's, the introduction of sheep farming, the growth of big cities and Constitutional government, to her present status as a Pacific power fearing isolationism. The rising threat of Japanese incursions has encouraged a movement away from her traditionally close link with Britain and toward closer bonds with the U.S. This was accelerated in the 1950's when Australia, facing the possible loss of preferential trade as Britain moved toward greater European unity, looked for fresh markets for her industrial products and development outlets for her mineral and oil potential. The author also shows Australia's increasing reliance on the ANZUS pact. Some interesting comments emerge on her future role as a bridge. Although textually dull, this is a serviceable introduction to Australia with particular emphasis on her early history.