Taming the Great South Land: A History of the Conquest of Nature in Australia

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University of California Press, Jan 1, 1991 - Nature - 337 pages
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Taming the Great South Land is a profound new history of Australia. It tells the story of two centuries of European settlement from the point of view of the land and its indigenous people. Taming the Great South Land is a powerful and pioneering study and, in the tradition The Fatal Shore, is compelling reading. William Lines combines environmental, social and political history to record 200 years of implacable exploitation of nature. He traces how the Enlightenment ideas of progress, economic growth and development were transported to Australia and employed in the conquest of nature. From the early slaughter of seals, through land settlement and the gold rushes to British nuclear tests and the modern mining and timber industries, the results of the conquest are written on our landscape. They have been felt most keenly by the indigenous population of the continent. But this is not a uniquely Australian story: its pattern runs through the history of the developed countries of the world. Taming the Great South Land is an epic saga of the human impact on the Australian environment.
 

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Contents

Terra Incognita
14
No Eden
27
A camping ground for profit
54
Dark deeds in a sunny land
88
To the firing line
127
An undeveloped enterprise
163
World quarry
196
Not by conquest
232
Epilogue
271
Bibliography
303
Illustration credits
319
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

William J. Lines is an independent scholar who grew up in Western Australia on the edge of jarrah forests. His travels have taken him to Asia, Europe, North and Central America, and the Caribbean. He now resides in Berkeley, California. David Suzuki is Professor of Zoology at the University of British Columbia.

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