Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe Dec 1, 2019 13:26:03 GMT 10
Post by pim on Dec 1, 2019 13:26:03 GMT 10
If it makes Andrew Bolt go hysterical and froth at the mouth it must be good. At the very least it warrants my attention. I bought it on Apple Books and have finished the first chapter. I’m hooked.
And while on the topic of Aboriginal History in pre-European settlement Australia, Bruce Pascoe’s masterpiece isn’t the only example of revisionist Australian historiography that dares challenge the comfortable - and profoundly racist - whitefella orthodoxy that the blackfellas who were the original inhabitants were primitive savages, noble or otherwise, who “roamed” over the land hunting and gathering but doing nothing to “improve” or “cultivate” it. Bill Gammage has written a masterpiece of revisionist Australian history that’s destined to be a classic:
While Pascoe shows that the First People built permanent structures, lived in villages, practised agriculture, stored food surpluses in silos and kept animals in pens, and that their aquaculture was highly sophisticated. Gammage shows how the First People managed the landscape and in particular the woodland to the extent that whitefella explorers like Sir Thomas Mitchell described landscapes that he surveyed as parkland and called it “Australia Felix”. Nothing to do with cats which were a feral pest introduced by whitefellas and an environmental disaster. “Felix” is Latin for “fortunate” or “happy”. It was the first time the phrase “the lucky country” was used to refer to Australia a century before Donald Horne picked it up.
Read them both. Great Christmas gift ideas!