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Publisher's Summary

A completely accessible, compelling and riveting account of pre-invasion Aboriginal agricultural systems.

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia's past is required.

©2014 Bruce Pascoe (P)2017 Bolinda audio

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Amazing eye opener

Another example of our commonly known history being false. This wonderful book goes someway in correcting that criminal fact.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-17

Captivating and Stirring

A truly fantastic audiobook narrated by the author Bruce Pascoe. I think I put even more value to his words as he was the one reading them and emphasizing as he would normally in conversation. He made it a pleasure to listen to.

The numerous examples of indigenous peoples farming the land was so refreshing to hear. FINALLY the truth is coming forward and I look forward to our shared history being reframed.

Whilst I loved the book, the reality is I came to tears on a number of occasions. To hear through the writings of those first settlers who gave such little value to our ways, how blinkered they were to our intimate knowledge of the land and how they systematically destroyed every opportunity to allow our peoples the right to care for boodja (country) is absolutely heartbreaking. I must admit I feel agrieved. I am going to need some time to process my initial reaction so I can channel that energy into helping to make a difference.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-23-17

Must Read for Every Australian

This books takes you on a journey of discovery, unearthing the ways of Indigenous Australia that are kept buried deep in the earth and in the historical records of the first colonisers. Taking extracts from the diaries of some of the first white contact in areas across Australia a very different picture is shown of the depth of knowledge that was completely ignored and destroyed as sheep and people displaced traditional practices. There is so much to learn from this for us to go forward and by honouring and relearning these practices repair some of the damage that we do today. It is a story of optimism for the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alistair
  • 03-29-17

paradigm shifting

growing up in Australia and going through the public school system, I have learnt a great deal from this book. it tells a story fundamentally different than what I was brought to to believe. I am thankful for this as to improve my once very ignorant appreciation of Australian aboriginal historical culture. this should be read and studied in schools in Australia

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  • J. Sims
  • 02-04-18

Insightful reading

I read this book to have a better understanding of indigenous culture pre colonisation. I have a deeper respect for the indigenous Australians and also a deeper guilt of the wrongs my fore fathers caused to these people.

It has inspired me to research the areas I travel and to see what I can do to help spread this information so that the appreciation and respect is given but so that the land to prosper again.

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  • Sharon
  • 01-23-18

Hopeful, Encouraging Book for a Sustainable Future!

This challenging work reinforces the old saying that “the victor always writes the history “. The incisive, detailed arguments Pascoe presents are convincing. He writes/speaks with a quiet passion that left me deeply moved. I thought I was aware of the impact of white settlement on the first people of this continent, I was not prepared for the extent of it nor how I had unwittingly bought into the cultural blind spots Pascoe demonstrates. Given what it reveals, this could be a work of frustration and rage but throughout this measured, patient argument Pascoe remains positive and hopeful, encouraging readers to accept where this history has brought us and how we can now use this information to honour and value aboriginal cultural wisdom and practices to forge a more sustainable future for us all. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity that reading this book has offered. I recommend it unreservedly!

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  • Lyn Southwell
  • 01-16-18

Place this book on every Australian Wishlist & should be included in our overall education & acknowledgment of the frontier wars

200 years of colonial whitewash of the colonialist's genocidal expansion into Australia explained with the support & references to eye witness reports & historical research culminating in this easy to comprehend text which should be included in Australian education streams as a fundamental text in Australian historical readjustment.

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  • Stan
  • 12-17-17

A powerful argument for a great achievement unacknowledged

If you were schooled before the 21st century you likely learned nothing more of indigenous Australian life prior to European settlement than “hunter gatherers.”

In this book, often using the diaries of first contact Europeans, Pascoe sketches a compelling description of an aboriginal way of life that included agriculture, aquaculture and land management. Large permanent structures were built and remnants can still be seen.

Pascoe explores the creation of a society that was peaceful and sustaining over a period of 60,000 years.

It is a powerful and paradigm shifting work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-18-17

Australian history as it should be taught.

The evidence for a cohesive, complex society that controlled and improved the land it lived upon is irrefutable. The knowledge that this evidence was systematically destroyed, denied and hidden from the common populace in order to maintain the flimsy excuse for land rights is profound.

We Australians need to re-examine how we came to understand such a severely one sided and restricted version of our history. An emphasis on the first explorers journals is a fantastic place to begin.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-17

One of the most important books every written

This should be mandatory in all Australian schools! This is the real Australian history!!! Thank you to Bruce for giving depth and facts. Highly factual but deeply emotional.

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  • Meregoround
  • 10-19-17

A must-read for all Australians

This book will be an Australian classic. So well researched, written and read by the author himself.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-25-17

A critically important message, that needs to be told better.

It's well framed, informative, insightful and vitally important. Unfortunately though, I just found it a bit dull. I

don't deny the possibility that my lack of interest is indicative of the problem, but I can't pretend it was an exciting read/listen. There's nothing particularly original that makes you go wow. So it's good, and I hope more authors tell this truth that needs to be told, but it's not great as a work of non fiction.