An Indelible Stain?: The question of genocide in Australia’s history
Viking, $30 pb, 217 pp
This book is suspended from a question mark, and all of Australia’s history is suspended with it. Henry Reynolds has been doing it for twenty years. What happens if we try to understand the coming of the Europeans from the Aboriginal viewpoint, from the other side of the frontier? Did the European invaders really think they were occupying a country that belonged to no one, a terra nullius? If we, the white people, had a legal title, how did we acquire it? If everything was fair and above board, why then this whispering in our hearts? And if so many big questions were left unanswered, if so many black people died so that we could live in prosperous comfort, Why weren’t we told?
We were of course told, but had good reason not to hear.