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Frontier Wars

This week’s ABR Podcast features Anne Rutherford’s review of the new SBS miniseries The Australian Wars, published in the November issue of ABR. Directed by Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman Rachel Perkins, the series is an attempt to recast Australian frontier conflict by posing new questions. Echoing Perkins, Rutherford asks: ‘Why is the extreme violence of the frontier not recognised as war?’ and ‘Why is the death of an estimated 100,000 people on the frontier, both black and white, not acknowledged and memorialised?’ Listen to the ABR Podcast here.

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In the aftermath of the ideological jousts between Henry Reynolds and Keith Windschuttle about the level of violence on the colonial frontier, a new book has appeared that tackles the issue from a fresh perspective. The author, John Connor, is a military historian. In this meticulously researched and highly readable book, he uses the methods of military history to examine the weapons, tactics and conduct of warfare on the Australian frontier during the first fifty years of British colonisation. Connor emerges from the fray with exciting new findings.

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