The Tyranny of Distance: How Distance Shaped Australia's History

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cover of 2001 edition of The Tyranny of Distance
Cover of 2001 paperback edition
AuthorGeoffrey Blainey
SubjectHistory of Australia
PublisherSun Books
Publication date
Pages365 (1968 illustrated edition)

The Tyranny of Distance: How Distance Shaped Australia's History is a history book by Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey.


First published in 1966, the book examines how Australia's geographical remoteness, particularly from Great Britain, has been central to shaping the country's history and identity and will continue to shape its future. The long distance between Australia and the centre of the British Empire, along with the United States, made Australians unsure of their future economic prosperity.

The expression "the tyranny of distance" from the book's title has become common parlance in Australia. Although Blainey is widely credited with coining the term in his 1966 work, the term appeared five years previously in the geographic research of William Bunge.[1] Bunge uses the term in quotation marks, indicating that the phrase may have had earlier usage.


  1. ^ Bunge, William (1 May 1961). "The Structure of Contemporary American Geographic Research". The Professional Geographer. 13 (3): 19–23. doi:10.1111/j.0033-0124.1961.133_19.x. ISSN 0033-0124.