The outlaws of the American West might be an entertaining, if not overly masculated bunch, but they got nothing on Australian Bushrangers. We’re not even talking about Ned Kelly, the big Kahuna of Australia’s criminal past who’s iconic metal helmet inspired mailboxes and bad tattoos across the nation.
Mad Dogs and Thunderbolts from comedian and writer Ben Pobjie is a new book that deep-dives into the unsung outlaws of the Australian bush.
For instance, have you heard of Black Caesar? He’s the crafty fellow who escaped his tyrannous British overlords four times and indeed invented the great Australian tradition of bushranging.
Or Mad Dog Morgan who set out to write his name in blood on history’s ledger? Then there’s the dynamic Captain Thunderbolt and his loyal wife Mary Ann Bugg, bushranging’s greatest queen. And Matthew Brady, the gentleman bushranger, who showed us all the civilised side of armed robbery.
In Mad Dogs and Thunderbolts, Ben Pobjie celebrates the derring-do and revolutionary passion of all the wild colonial boys and girls who raided our towns and stole our hearts, all while wearing sensible headgear.
Ben Pobjie studied history at the University of Western Sydney before his lust for glamour led him to comedy writing. He is best known for his TV columns in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, along with writing political satire for New Matilda, Crikey and the ABC, among others.
Ben is also a frequent Man of Many contributor, responsible for the hilarious The Bachelor and Game of Thrones recaps.
Ben is the author of Aussie Aussie Aussie, Error Australis, SuperChef and The Book of Bloke. He has also written for the TV shows Reality Check and The Unbelievable Truth. Ben lives in Melbourne with his wife, three children and a rising sense of panic.
Mad Dogs and Thunderbolts is available now through Affirm Press. You can find it via the link below.