Ann Curthoys’s Freedom Ride is a meticulously researched piece of Australian history, and so much more. It could sit comfortably on the required reading lists of subjects ranging from History, to Government, to Media. This ‘road story’ of peripatetic direct democracy, from people too young to assert the right to vote for change, is also an inspirational text that makes you question your own passivity to the wrongs in our world.
Curthoys tells us that she began this history at a student protest in Sydney in May 1964, at a demonstration against US civil rights infringements. But the details go back to the beginning of the decade, with Krushchev declaring in the UN General Assembly in October 1960: ‘Everyone knows in what way the Aboriginal population of Australia was exterminated.’