"A history of Australia", in six hefty volumes, is Manning Clark's life work. Its creation spanned some thirty years. It has irrevocably changed our view of ourselves, and continues to draw new generations of readers. This is the story, written in the year before his death in 1991, of the writing of the "History". Manning Clark's extraordinarily wide range of readers now have a chance to watch him at work as, with characteristic courage, he shares the dilemmas, excitements and sheer hard work of his craft. There is no mistaking his distinctive voice. "The story of the past should have the same effect as all great stories ...It should turn the mind of the reader towards the things that matter." "Born in Sydney in 1915, Manning Clark won scholarships to Melbourne Grammar School and the University of Melbourne. He later attended Balliol College, Oxford, and in the early 1940s taught history at schools in England and Australia. He was senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne and, later, Professor of History in the School of General Studies, Australian National University. In 1972 he became the first Professor of Australian History. He held honorary doctorates awarded by the Universities of Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney. In June 1975 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his writing of the "History". He was named Australian of the Year for 1980. Professor Clark died in May 1991.".