- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Allen & Unwin (April 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1741148723
- ISBN-13: 978-1741148725
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Original Australians: Story of the Aboriginal People
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Top Customer Reviews
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.