Ian W. Shaw

Ian W Shaw is an acclaimed writer of narrative nonfiction who has made an important contribution to Australian history and to the understanding of our nation.Ian_W_Shaw

Ian has published five works of Australian and military history, all of which are characterised by his ability to locate and access hidden tales from our past, and for his meticulous and far-reaching research. He has a gift for effectively and sympathetically rendering the individuals within these stories on the page. He writes on Australian history with a rare emotional depth, presenting clear, engaging and accurate narratives that help make our collective past accessible and relatable.

Ian’s most recent book tells the little-known story of the ‘Small Ships Section’ and the Australians who, in the final months of 1942, changed the course of  WWII. The Rag Tag Fleet was published by Hachette in June 2017.

Ian’s next book, Murder at Dusk: How US soldier and psychopath Eddie Leonski terrorised wartime Melbourne, will explore the fascinating story of Melbourne’s 1942 ‘brownout murders’. Based on extensive archival and documentary research, his sixth book is an insightful investigation into one of Australia’s most intriguing serial killers and will be published by Hachette in June 2018.

Previous works include The Bloodbath (Scribe), On Radji Beach (Pan Macmillan), The Ghosts of Roebuck Bay (Pan Macmillan) and Glenrowan (Pan Macmillan).
RagTagFleet   RoebuckBay  OnRadjiBeach   Glenrowan  TheBloodbath

Praise for Ian W Shaw:

The Rag Tag Fleet 

“Enthralling . . . makes for a fascinating read.” Canberra Times

The Ghosts of Roebuck Bay 

“Told with detailed research and a flair for dramatic narrative. The main personalities are much more than just names. This is a splendid contribution to our military history.” Sydney Morning Herald

On Radji Beach

“Unforgettable.” The Weekend Australian

“A driven, suspenseful and realistic narrative … essential reading for anyone interested in Australia’s war history and the role of women in war. On Radji Beach is an insightful and tragic excursion into an aspect of Australian history that has often been overlooked or forgotten.” Overland Journal


“Shaw provides a fresh, detailed and dramatic account of the siege and all its players. Shaw’s careful consideration of Glenrowan allows him to recount history in concise, most readable language.” News Ltd

The Bloodbath: The 1945 VFL Grand Final 

“[Shaw] writes with quiet authority and a tempo that never flags.” The Age, Martin Flanagan

“A brilliant work of social history.” The Australian