How important have ideas been in the history of Australia? This collection of essays examines key ideas that motivated Australians, including democracy, the ideal of Europe and socialism. The papers range from the colonial period to the present day, from the ideal of the natural aristocrat to the conservative populism of Pauline Hanson. They deal with fascinating Australians; from the colonial firebrand Daniel Deniehy to possibly the only Australian intellectual to engage actively in propaganda for the Nazis, Randolph Hughes. These essays demonstrate that there is a genuine intellectual depth to Australia.