AS mentioned at the outset, Peter FitzSimons has a new book, Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution, about one of Australia’s most cherished but perhaps not well understood stories. Warren Brown’s ripping Francis Birtles: Australian Adventurer resurrects a wonderful Australian daredevil and rogue. If you are looking for a one-volume history of the great conflagration of 1939-45, it’s hard to go past Antony Beevor’s The Second World War. Sonke Neitzel and Harald Welszer’s Soldaten (Soldiers), based on transcripts of secret recordings of German prisoners of war, challenges the idea that ordinary German soldiers did not take part in the sort of atrocities we associate with the Nazis. Chris Masters’s study of the modern Australian soldier, Uncommon Soldier, should be read by anyone interested in understanding our military culture and the men and women who serve in the armed forces. Mark McKenna’s biography of Manning Clark, An Eye for Eternity, was published last year but has been the nonfiction book of the year, winning several awards. Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers is living history, a remarkable work of narrative nonfiction that takes us into the lives and hopes of people struggling to survive in a Mumbai slum.