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The Aborigines' Protection Society: Humanitarian Imperialism in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, South Africa, and the Congo, 1836-1909 Hardcover – 1 Jul 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849041202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849041201
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,325,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A nuanced, even-handed account of one of Victorian England s most intriguing organisations. ... The Aborigines Protection Society is excellent when it comes to context: it provides potted histories of the main theatres of British colonial adventure and misadventure. It s even better when it sets about exploring the motivations of the society s supporters. ... Heartfield opts for a rounded portrait of this mixed and puzzling bunch, and the result is a major, well-written and closely researched contribution to the study of the 19th-century British colonialism. --Geographical

'In this highly readable and fascinating account of the work of the Aborigines' Protection Society, Heartfield highlights the problematic and unintended consequences of humanitarian intervention, regardless of the honourable motivations of its advocates. This balanced account of the problematic and shifting relationship of the APS both to imperial power and to the colonial settlers provides a vivid insight into how ethical concerns need to be understood in the context of the relations of power and interest.' --David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster and author of Empire in Denial

The Aborigines Protection Society was one of the most important pressure groups in modern British colonial policy. A good history is long overdue. James Heartfield s deeply researched book fits the bill but does much more. This lively account will fascinate anyone interested in the historic background to the debates about human rights and international justice that loom so large in politics today. --Nicholas Thomas, Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

About the Author

James Heartfield has written about native rights in the Journal of Pacific History, Arena, the Fiji Times and elsewhere. He completed his PhD at the University of Westminster in 2010.

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