'Lucid, restrained, persuasive. If there is such a thing as the history wars, then Bain Attwood has struck a major blow for the peace process. Telling the Truth About Aboriginal History is unflinchingly fair, scholarly, and refreshingly accessible.' Hugh Mackay, social researcher and author 'Genuinely good Australian history is under serious attack and Attwood's book is a brilliant battlefield analysis.' Alan Atkinson, Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow 'Hard-hitting but always thoughtful, Bain Attwood's rich, informed, and powerful book. has much to say about the centrality of history and memory to debates on the future of social justice in democratic societies.' Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago Once upon a time historical controversies were debated among a small circle of academic historians. Today they are the subject of intense 'history wars' fought out in parliament, court rooms, museums, newspapers, cafes and blog sites.
Bain Attwood takes us to the heart of the conflict about the Aboriginal past in Australia. He tracks the growing popularity of history and weighs the consequences for the nature of historical knowledge and the authority of the historian. He asks why and how Aboriginal history has become central to Australian politics, culture and identity. He examines the work of historical 'revisionists' and tests their promise of historical truth. Finally, Attwood ponders how the traumatic history of frontier conflict might better be remembered - and mourned - and why telling the truth about history matters for the nation and for all of us.
Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:
01 September 2005
Illustrations Preface Introduction Part I: Present 1. Nation 2. Democracy 3. Politics Part II: Past 4. Genocide 5. War 6. Law 7. Culture Part III: Future 8. History 9. Memory 10. Truth and reconciliation Acknowledgments Index
Reviews for Telling the Truth About Aboriginal History
a beautifully written and carefully considered attempt to explain the nature of modern historical studies. Even people who are only peripherally interested in the Aboriginal history debates should read this book.' (Spectrum, 8 October 2005)Bain Attwood is rightly counted among the most important writers on Aboriginal history... you could not do much better than read this book concerning the truth about Aboriginal history.' (The Age, 23 December 2005)