A HISTORY OF CANBERRA
Cambridge University Press, $39.99 pb, 285 pp, 9781107646094
‘Canberra’ is a loaded term among Australians. The capital embodies the aspirations, expectations, and disappointments of a nation. It is at once a bold experiment in Australian democracy and a national source of ambivalence and derision, the unfortunate shorthand for the federal government, and a symbol of Australia’s collective disenchantment with politics. Many Australians feel they can speak for the capital and are quick to pass judgement on it. It is hotly contested ground. There is even tension between the Ngunawal, Ngarigu, and Ngambri people over who can speak for country on the Limestone Plains.