Mining Towns: Making a living, making a life by Erik Eklund
At any given moment in our history Australia has been in the middle of a mining boom. This book is a history of iconic Australian towns that have emerged as a result of these booms: Broken Hill, Mount Isa, Queenstown, Mount Morgan, Port Pirie and Kambalda. It covers past and present, showing that while some of these towns have declined they have all had thriving local communities. Unlike many mining books this is not limited to a single material like coal or gold, but traces the fortunes of a range of towns throughout Australia that have been at the centre of very different mining booms. Eklund is especially interested in the communities that have formed around these places, and tells how they started and how well they have fared. Sadly, the current 'fly in fly out' mining culture means we won't see the like of them again, which, as the author shows, is a great loss.