Volume 16 of the Australian Dictionary of Biography is the last of four volumes to deal with the period 1940-1980. The subjects come from all walks of life - from premiers, generals and bishops, through artists, actors and authors, farmers, to prostitutes, thieves and murderers - providing a cross-section of Australian society. This host of lives gives a picture of our society and provides insights into themes in Australia's recent history, including immigration, accelerating industrialization, urbanization, war (World War II, Korea, Malaya and Vietnam), increasing cultural maturity, conservative and radical politics, and the loss of isolation and innocence. It also reveals something of the greatness and the littleness of which human beings are capable. Volumes 1-12 cover the years 1788 to 1939 and include 7211 biographies. The accompanying Index volume is a useful research tool in itself. Volumes 13-15 include entries on 2018 people who died between 1940 and 1980.