This exciting new biography argues that John Macarthur was a founding father not just of New South Wales but of Australia. After choosing to come to Sydney as a soldier in 1790, Macarthur set about making his fortune an often ruthless exercise that throws into sharp relief the morality, dynamics and politics of early colonial society. Yet Michael Duffy argues that Macarthur's manipulation of the system and of individuals, his delight in feuds and his ferocity (he fought three duels) should not mask the fact that he lived by the code of honour, an unspoken set of rules that, at the end of the eighteenth century, determined how powerful men dealt with each other. In his first book, political columnist Michael Duffy offers a new explanation for the so-called Rum Rebellion of 1808, the most dramatic event in colonial history. This lively book will change the way you think about early Australia.