We are at war with them,’ wrote a Tasmanian settler in 1831. ‘What we call their crime is what in a white man we should call patriotism.’
Australia is dotted with memorials to soldiers who fought in wars overseas. So why are there no official memorials or commemorations of the wars that were fought on Australian soil between First Nations people and white colonists? Why is it more controversial to talk about the frontier wars now than it was one hundred years ago? In this updated edition of Forgotten War, winner of the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Award for non-fiction, influential historian Henry Reynolds makes it clear that there can be no reconciliation without acknowledging the wars fought on our own soil.
‘Henry Reynolds’ Forgotten War calls for the principle of ‘lest we forget’ to include all Australians who died in defending their country, including Indigenous people. Timely historical analysis of newly collated and discovered evidence shows that the coming of European settlers to Aboriginal territories was firmly defined as a frontier war … Reynolds makes a compelling and measured case that we should officially honour and acknowledge the tens of thousands of people who died in our frontier wars.’ — Judges’ Report, The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards
Paperback, 288pp, 2022