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The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding Paperback – Unabridged, February 12, 1988
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Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Hughes tells the story of the discovery of Australia, the decision of Great Britain to "transport" its convicted to the continent, the various kinds of lives the convicts found there, the aboriginal settlers and their treatment by the newcomers, and the ultimate creation of a new society. There are harrowing accounts of the passage from Britain to Australia in the convict ships, and still shocking accounts of the secondary places of punishment created in Australia for repeat offenders -- places such as Norfolk Island, Port Aurthur, and Macquarrie Bay. Hughes describes these nineteenth century camps as precursors of the Gulag in our own time, and I am afraid he is correct. They reminded me to of Andersonville Prison in our own Civil War but on a much broader, more wicked scale. The description of the prisons and barbaric punishments were to me the most vivid portions of the book.
Besides the horror stories, there is a great deal of nuanced, thoughtful writing in the book about the settlement and building of Australia and of the dangers of facile over-generalization about how the convicts fared, or about virtually any other historical subject.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful non-fiction story of the colonization of Australia using the British Convict System in the late 1700's and early 1800's. Read morePublished 4 days ago by George P. Purvis
20 years or so ago, this book 'ruined' a vacation to visit my parents on the central Oregon coast. Family, woods, beach...all neglected because I could not put this book down. Read morePublished 21 days ago by trollificus
Very informative. A heart breaking story of the beginnings of the wonderful people of Australia. But a story that connects to other places around the world.Published 1 month ago by Monarch Watcher
This is an excellent and very thorough account of the settling of Australia. Takes a while to get through it but fascinating. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tim Lake
An excellent historical explanation of the founding of Australia which is tied directly to the war of Independence won by colonists vs the British. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stephen Sexton
I certainly knew that Australia started as a penal colony but I had no idea of the extent of the violence and brutality of its early years. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Patrick Dowdle
Great book but the print size is small, irritatingly so. Granted, it's quite a tome (and a brilliant history), but I finally ordered an e-book version so that I could read it in a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by George_Portland