ANU Lives Series in Biography

The ANU Lives Series in Biography is an initiative of the National Centre for Biography in the History Program in the Research School of Social Sciences at The Australian National University. The National Centre was established in 2008 to extend the work of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and to serve as a focus for the study of life writing in Australia, supporting innovative research and writing to the highest standards in the field, nationally and internationally. Books that appear in the ANU Lives series are lively, engaging and provocative, intended to appeal to the current popular and scholarly interest in biography, memoir and autobiography. They recount interesting and telling life stories and engage critically with issues and problems in historiography and life writing.

Please note: The following list of titles is sorted by publication date, with the most recent first.

Dictionary of World Biography »

Fifth edition

Authored by: Barry Jones
Publication date: May 2018

Jones, Barry Owen (1932– ). Australian politician, writer and lawyer, born in Geelong.


Clio’s Lives »

Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians

Edited by: Doug Munro, John G. Reid
Publication date: October 2017

Including contributions from leading scholars in the field from both Australia and North America, this collection explores diverse approaches to writing the lives of historians and ways of assessing the importance of doing so.


The Histories of Raphael Samuel »

A portrait of a people's historian

Authored by: Sophie Scott-Brown
Publication date: May 2017

In the first integrated biographical study of his work, this book situates British historian Raphael Samuel (1934–1996) in relation to his distinctive form of activist politics as they developed from youthful Cold War communism to the first Britis


Family Experiments »

Middle-class, professional families in Australia and New Zealand c. 1880–1920

Authored by: Shelley Richardson
Publication date: November 2016

Family Experiments explores the forms and undertakings of ‘family’ that prevailed among British professionals who migrated to Australia and New Zealand in the late nineteenth century.


The Seven Dwarfs and the Age of the Mandarins »

Australian Government Administration in the Post-War Reconstruction Era

Edited by: Samuel Furphy
Publication date: July 2015

In the history and folklore of Australia’s Commonwealth Public Service, the idea of the ‘Seven Dwarfs’ has been remarkably persistent.


Ngapartji Ngapartji »

In turn, in turn: Ego-histoire, Europe and Indigenous Australia

Publication date: November 2014

In this innovative collection, Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars from Australia and Europe reflect on how their life histories have impacted on their research in Indigenous Australian Studies. Drawing on Pierre Nora’s concept of ego-histoire


Henry Prinsep's Empire »

Framing a distant colony

Authored by: Malcolm Allbrook
Publication date: September 2014

Henry Prinsep is known as Western Australia’s first Chief Protector of Aborigines in the colonial government of Sir John Forrest, a period which saw the introduction of oppressive laws that dominated the lives of Aboriginal people for most of the


Ten Journeys to Cameron's Farm »

An Australian Tragedy

Authored by: Cameron Hazlehurst
Publication date: November 2013

‘In the whole history of government in Australia, this was the most devastating tragedy.’


The ADB's Story »

Publication date: October 2013

‘The Australian Dictionary of Biography captures the life and times and culture of this country in an absolutely distinctive and irreplaceable way. It is the indispensable record of who we are, and of the characters who have made us what we are.


Scholars at War »

Australasian Social Scientists, 1939–1945

Edited by: Geoffrey Gray, Doug Munro, Christine Winter
Publication date: January 2012

Scholars at War is the first scholarly publication to examine the effect World War II had on the careers of Australasian social scientists.


Māori and Aboriginal Women in the Public Eye »

Representing Difference, 1950–2000

Authored by: Karen Fox
Publication date: December 2011

From 1950, increasing numbers of Aboriginal and Māori women became nationally or internationally renowned.


Transnational Ties »

Australian Lives in the World

Edited by: Desley Deacon, Penny Russell, Angela Woollacott
Publication date: December 2008

Australian lives are intricately enmeshed with the world, bound by ties of allegiance and affinity, intellect and imagination.