Australiana Pilger A Secret Country

ISBN 13: 9780099152316

A Secret Country

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9780099152316: A Secret Country

"A Secret Country" examines controversial issues that need adressing in not only Australia but most of the world: genocide, public amnesia, the worth of capitalism, political corruption, unemployment, media manipulation by not only governments but private enterprise, and most importantly, man's inhumanity to man. Pilger's intention for writing this book is clear: to explode the myths Australia adopted, and by doing so, drag the Australian psyche through a kind of confrontational therapy. Australian's finding their "true identitiy" through the examination of her past is the only way for the country, "To break free from our imperial past; and for us, like everyone else, breaking free is our only future." Two of the most powerful chapters examines the savage genocide of the true Australian's, the Aboriginals, is a fact that most white Australians are aware of but refuse to think or talk about, and continue to turn a blind eye. The most controversial issue of white oppression is Aboriginal "deaths in custody," Pilger writes, "Black Australians continue to die in custody on an average of about one death every fourteen days." A Royal Commision was formed which made 339 recomendations, but after the fog cleared, so to speak, the bottom line, Pilger writes, "There was no call for criminal charges and not a single conclusion of foul play in cases that went back nine years." There is certainly "something rotten in Denmark." (From Hamlet) There are many other issue raised in this text and anyone interested, will find this book both fascinating and terribly disturbing.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A desanitized view of Australia from a veteran Australian journalist, ranging from its founding as a penal colony in 1788 to the machinations of the ``Old Mates,'' the powerful ``dullards'' who threaten the nation's hard-won status as a working-class society of equals. More than 160,000 came to Australia in chains, a practice continuing into the 1880's. Later generations tried to suppress their heritage, so Pilger had to do considerable work to unearth his great-great-grandmother, a pregnant 16-year-old Irish girl when she came over on one of the female slave ships. Such women were passed out first to ``officers, then to non-commissioned officers, then privates, and lastly such ex-convict settlers as seemed `respectable.''' Yet the offspring of convicts were more brutal still to Aborigines, taking them as slaves quite as in the American South. Aborigines were seen as animals; even into the 1950's babies were taken away at birth and ``adopted''; full rights are still not accorded these people. Meanwhile, Australia, with its whites-only immigration policy, remained aloof from its Asian neighbors. When the UK's influence waned, the US stepped in, most notably with the use of Australian conscripts in the Vietnam War. According to Pilger, the CIA actually undertook a sort of coup by poisoning the chances for reelection of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam through its influences with powerful Governor General John Kerr. One of the most extraordinary portraits here is of Kerr, a boilermakers's son and rabid conservative whose weakness was booze; he lost his job when he made a drunken pass at the Queen. A brooding, often angry book. Pilger sees hope for this nation of battlers in the example of New Zealand, a superficially similar country that noisily rejected the US nuclear umbrella and has turned fully ten percent of its land into a national park. A startling look, then, at a country quite different from, and hauntingly similar to, the US. (Forty photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

An Australian-born journalist and documentary filmmaker now living in London, Pilger provides a bracing rebuttal of the conventional view of his native land as an egalitarian nation with homes and jobs for all. Praising the innovative social reforms that made turn-of-the century Australia famous as a "Workers' Paradise," Pilger contends that these benefits have been abrogated in the '80s as a result of the Conservative Labor Party government's tax giveaways to the "Order of Mates" (including media mogul Rupert Murdoch and beer baron Alan Bond), which has resulted in an economic crisis. In addition, the author argues, white Australians have never acknowledged that their country was founded on the genocide of the aborigines, still discriminated against today, and has been run ever since as a colonial tool, first of Great Britain and now of the United States--the CIA, the author suggests in convincing detail, connived in the 1975 overthrow of a Labor government unpopular with the U.S. Pilger's strong tone may alienate those who don't already agree with him, but he backs up his contentions with careful documentation. Overall, though, his thoughtful book will appeal to those seeking a more realistic understanding of the land Down Under. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Expatriate journalist and film-maker John Pilger writes about his homeland with life-long affection and a passionately critical eye. In this fully updated edition of A Secret Country, he pays tribute to a little known Australia and tells a story of high political drama. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099152316

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Expatriate journalist and film-maker John Pilger writes about his homeland with life-long affection and a passionately critical eye. In this fully updated edition of A Secret Country, he pays tribute to a little known Australia and tells a story of high political drama. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099152316

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