Robert Hughes will not get the same attention as Gore Vidal or John Keegan, but he straddled their two worlds with brilliance.
I read The Fatal Shore in 1992 while sitting at a cubicle desk, working as a long distance operator. In those days, we could read while there were no calls; when a call came in, we had to put the book down. It was my first exposure to someone who had complete mastery over a subject and could explain things that were remote and difficult to grasp.
Hughes was much, much more than that.