- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Allen & Unwin (1 Aug. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1741148723
- ISBN-13: 978-1741148725
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 2 x 24.1 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,217,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Original Australians: Stories of the Aboriginal People Paperback – 1 Aug 2006
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." . . An intriguing and accessible history for anyone, from overseas visitors to Australians . . ." "Sydney Morning Herald""
"Another enthralling account by Josephine Flood . . . her enduring respect for her fellow humans underwrites every part of her exploration of the life and times of the Aboriginal people." Pat O'Shane, "Magistrate""
About the Author
Dr Josephine Flood is a prominent archaeologist, recipient of the Centenary Medal and former director of the Aboriginal Heritage Section of the Australian Heritage Commission. She has published a number of books on Australian archaeology and history, including the influential Archaeology of the Dreamtime and The Riches of Ancient Australia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
However, what I found most extraordinary in this book was a balance in thought and judgment that refused to cowtow to political correctness; but, instead, embraced all Australians, both aboriginal and "newcomers" in a context that avoided facile condemnations.
In short, this book provides a history of humanity's oldest culture that both celebrates it and explores its complete expression while avoiding both hagiography and condescension. I don't recall another work like it.
Flood's work is thorough, analytical, well-researched and unbiased. She obviously loves the indigenous people of whom she writes, yet she does not patronize them or romanticize their history or their plight.
Neither does she condemn the English, who first colonized "New Holland," or the Australian government, who enacted laws that forever changed the course of Aboriginal life.
Flood proves to be both a scholar, who honestly reports the facts, and a compassionate human, who cares deeply for the objects of her research.
I recommend this book highly. Where other books on Aboriginals tend to be anecdotal in nature, Flood's book is meaty, yet digestible; objective, yet heartfelt. It'll stimulate your mind and touch your heart.
I still don't know what they were talking about.
The book begins with a note saying that one should not bring this book in certain parts of Australia, as the photos of the Aborigines were taken without their knowledge or permission, and it would really upset them. I think that right there sets the tone of the whole book, since every chapter is patronizing and very favorable of the Europeans.
What it says about the Aborigines is basically that they were a painfully primitive and backwards culture, which baffled the incredibly intelligent and technologically advanced Europeans (Aborigines, on the other hand, lived there sustainably for WAY longer than the Europeans ever have). It says they were an aggressive people totally lacking in human compassion and prone to killing their relatives, but Europeans, on the other hand have such a reputation and long history of kindness (sarcasm). This book suggests that Aborigines objectify women (and Europeans NEVER did that--oh wait a minute).
It really is an awful, deeply prejudiced book, and I'm getting rid of it.
The book is described as the story of the Aboriginal people. But what actually is in the book seems more like a modern history of European aggression against the Aboriginal people from the European perspective.
There are two chapters (out of eight) devoted to the Aboriginal traditions and culture. However, the descriptions are so superficial that even Wikipedia can easily beat it.
If you are looking for a book describing how life was like in precolonial Australia and their myths and culture, this is NOT the right book.
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