The Guardian • Issue #2064

Potted Reviews

Short reviews from the shelves

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2064
This month: Writing on Indigenous themes, reviewed by various comrades.

But now we want the land back – Hannah Middleton

A solid Marxist analysis of the history of Aboriginal people.  The author is an anthropologist, but you don’t have to be an anthropologist to find it rewarding.  It’s particularly good on the Wave Hill strike.

The Biggest Estate on Earth – How Aborigines Made Australia.

The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia – Bill Gammage

Years before the ‘Dark Emu’ was published, Bill Gammage looked at how the Aboriginal landscape was constructed before 1788. To quote: “People made the land beautiful.”

This book is very thought provoking, and amazing paintings really illustrate how the landscape was sculpted before Europeans arrived.

Sorry and Beyond - Healing the Stolen Generations

Sorry and Beyond: Healing the Stolen Generations – Brian Butler and John Bond

Brian Butler, a former ATSIC commissioner for South Australia, has Aranda and Luritja background. John Bond, a writer originally from Britain, served as the Secretary of the National Sorry Day Committee from 1998 to 2006. Sorry and Beyond tells important truths, but it also contains a message of hope. We can all be agents of change. Sorry and Beyond not only examines the 1997 national inquiry into the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families, but also details the national response, including the marches across bridges and numerous supportive gatherings. Despite all this, however, removals still continue today. As a definite step forward, let us all support First Nations Australians, at the very least by voting yes to the Voice!

The Spirit of Pedzeh-ki

The Spirit of Pedzeh-ki – Bev Hall and Ron Hall

CPA members Ron and Bev Hall, lifelong activists for First Nations people, lived in Pedzeh-ki in the Northwest Territories of Canada fifty years ago with their young family. The book combines a personal account of the young Australian couple’s adjustment to life in Pedzeh-ki with an account of the history of the Slavey Dene people they lived with. The Slavey Dene struggle to keep culture and language alive is all too familiar.

Hello and Welcome

Hello and Welcome – Greg Driesse

Short picture book by a prolific Kamilaroi author and illustrator. Includes some Gamilaraay language material, so a good present for kids who like to learn new words (which is all kids) from one of the largest indigenous nations in Australia.

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