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Taking Liberty

Indigenous Rights and Settler Self-Government in Colonial Australia, 1830-1890

Ann Curthoys (Australian National University, Canberra) Jessie Mitchell

$141.95

Hardback

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Cambridge University Press
11 October 2018
At last a history that explains how indigenous dispossession and survival underlay and shaped the birth of Australian democracy. The legacy of seizing a continent and alternately destroying and governing its original people shaped how white Australians came to see themselves as independent citizens. It also shows how shifting wider imperial and colonial politics influenced the treatment of indigenous Australians, and how indigenous people began to engage in their own ways with these new political institutions. It is, essentially, a bringing together of two histories that have hitherto been told separately: one concerns the arrival of early democracy in the Australian colonies, as white settlers moved from the shame and restrictions of the penal era to a new and freer society with their own institutions of government; the other is the tragedy of indigenous dispossession and displacement, with its frontier violence, poverty, disease and enforced regimes of mission life.
By:   Ann Curthoys (Australian National University Canberra), Jessie Mitchell
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 157mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   830g
ISBN:   9781107084858
ISBN 10:   1107084857
Series:   Critical Perspectives on Empire
Pages:   444
Publication Date:   11 October 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Further / Higher Education
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ann Curthoys is an Australian historian who has written on many aspects of Australian history. Her many books include Freedom Ride: A Freedom Rider Remembers (2002), which won the Stanner Prize from the Australian Institute of indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Studies, was 'Highly Commended' for Non-Fiction in the Australian Human Rights awards and was shortlisted for the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies Award for Non-Fiction. Jessie Mitchell holds a Ph.D. in history from the Australian National University, where she won the Australian Historical Association's Serle Award for the best Ph.D. thesis. She also won the John Barrett Award for Australian Studies for her article ''The galling yoke of slavery': race and separation in colonial Port Philip', which appeared in the Journal of Australian Studies.

Reviews for Taking Liberty: Indigenous Rights and Settler Self-Government in Colonial Australia, 1830-1890

'This is the first book to get to grips not only with how settlers in the Australian colonies gained powers of self-government, but how those powers were comprehended, experienced and resisted by Aboriginal Australians. Rigorously researched and compellingly narrated, this is one book that everyone with an interest in settler colonialism must read.' Alan Lester, University of Sussex and La Trobe University, Melbourne 'Curthoys and Mitchell take issue with major trends in the field and aim at genres of narrative that have failed to capture the dialectics between settlers and indigenous communities. This is a fierce, unflinching case for rooting principles of equality and inclusion in deep, unsentimental genealogies of the nineteenth-century experience.' Antoinette Burton, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 'This is an important book. It is deeply learned. It compels a rethinking of political history as traditionally conceived, demanding a reckoning with the centrality of violence and the attempted erasure or coercion of Indigenous peoples to the development of democracy and colonial self-government both in Australia and the wider British settler empire. Chilling, heartbreaking, magisterial: this book is a game-changer.' Elizabeth Elbourne, McGill University, Montreal 'This landmark book traces a vital shift in the histories of liberty and unfreedom across the Australian colonies in the mid nineteenth century, for the first time interrogating how responsible government and the gaining of democratic rights and freedoms for settlers gave rise to violent and oppressive degrees unfreedom for Indigenous peoples. A must read for all historians of Australia and of settler colonialism.' Penelope Edmonds, University of Tasmania 'This is the first book to get to grips not only with how settlers in the Australian colonies gained powers of self-government, but how those powers were comprehended, experienced and resisted by Aboriginal Australians. Rigorously researched and compellingly narrated, this is one book that everyone with an interest in settler colonialism must read.' Alan Lester, University of Sussex and La Trobe University, Melbourne 'Curthoys and Mitchell take issue with major trends in the field and aim at genres of narrative that have failed to capture the dialectics between settlers and indigenous communities. This is a fierce, unflinching case for rooting principles of equality and inclusion in deep, unsentimental genealogies of the nineteenth-century experience.' Antoinette Burton, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 'This is an important book. It is deeply learned. It compels a rethinking of political history as traditionally conceived, demanding a reckoning with the centrality of violence and the attempted erasure or coercion of Indigenous peoples to the development of democracy and colonial self-government both in Australia and the wider British settler empire. Chilling, heartbreaking, magisterial: this book is a game-changer.' Elizabeth Elbourne, McGill University, Montreal 'This landmark book traces a vital shift in the histories of liberty and unfreedom across the Australian colonies in the mid nineteenth century, for the first time interrogating how responsible government and the gaining of democratic rights and freedoms for settlers gave rise to violent and oppressive degrees unfreedom for Indigenous peoples. A must read for all historians of Australia and of settler colonialism.' Penelope Edmonds, University of Tasmania


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