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A River with a City Problem:
A History of Brisbane Floods (revised edition)


‘An engrossing account of the complex relationship between a river and the cities that grew up around it.’ Nick Earls

Available. Dispatched 2-3 business days

When floods devastated South East Queensland in 2011, who was to blame? Despite the inherent risk of living on a floodplain, most residents had pinned their hopes on Wivenhoe Dam to protect them, and when it failed to do so, dam operators were blamed for the scale of the catastrophic events that followed.

A River with a City Problem is a compelling history of floods in the Brisbane River catchment, especially those in 1893, 1974, 2011 and 2022. Extensively researched, it highlights the force of nature, the vagaries of politics and the power of community. With many river cities facing urban development challenges, historian Margaret Cook makes a convincing argument for what must change to prevent further tragedy.

In this updated edition, Cook investigates the 2022 floods to illustrate how no two floods are the same.

Margaret Cook, author of A River with a City Problem: A History of Brisbane Floods

Margaret Cook

Margaret Cook holds a PhD in history from The University of Queensland. She is a member of the Professional Historians Association, has a significant body of work in environmental and social history and heritage conservation, and has worked in cultural tourism and the museum sector. Margaret is a Research Fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, and an Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe University. Margaret lives in Ipswich with her husband and two sons.

A River with a City Problem was shortlisted for the Scholarly Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the Educational Publishing Awards, and for The Courier-Mail’s People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award in the Queensland Literary Awards.