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For much of its history Australia has been described as riding on the sheep’s back . . . but if the country rode on anyone’s back, it was on the aching, creaking, flexing spines of Australian shearers.’ Armed with their blades, a sense of adventure and a relentless work ethic, shearers have been a fundamental part of Australia’s outback for centuries. From legendary figures such as blade shearing record-holder Jack Howe and fearless union man turned poet Julian Stuart, to today’s young guns having to adapt to a rapidly changing industry, these rugged, resilient and proud characters have influenced the social landscape and folklore of the country. Expert outback chronicler Evan McHugh presents the definitive history of these men, bringing to life the toil, tumult and toughness of the shearing life, and the effect it has had on Australia’s national character.
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