"The story of Australian people is a story of the interaction of land, cities and the sea. Land and cities have received ample attention but the role of the sea is an integral part of our national experience and has remained largely unexplored. Island Nation sets out to restore the sea to its rightful place in Australia's history. It offers an alternative account of the past and opens new windows on the forces that have shaped our present. Island Nation traces the profound, diverse and all-embracing influence of the sea on Australian society - an influence that extends far beyond the coastline. In this story of the interaction of people and the sea, three major issues emerge: controlling sea space, taming distance, and living with the sea. In exploring these issues in all their diversity, Island Nation ranges widely, encompassing the birth of an Australian 'Monroe Doctrine', the development of unique economic and political institutions, the role of surfing and the growth of tourism, the impact of the sea on Australian art, 'ships of shame' and very much besides." -- BOOK JACKET.