To the layperson, the shifts and variations in government policy and its effects on Aboriginal lives can be bewildering, even during the past decade. Tim Rowse has done a great service by analysing more than a century of this tangled history, locating its patterns and its driving forces and making sense of it. He has produced a humane and convincing account of the demographic and social recovery of an Aboriginal population as it absorbed and accommodated the effects of intrusive social policies. At one level, Indigenous and Other Australians since 1901 provides a coherent account of the origins, implications, and outcomes of Aboriginal policy formation since Federation, ranging deftly across state and territory jurisdictions, decade by decade.
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