The Fatal Shore
By Robert Hughes
Why this book?
I used to say of The Fatal Shore that any Australian who hadn’t read it should have his or her passport confiscated and should not be allowed to vote. When I was taught history in school in Australia, we were endlessly told that the first colonists were on the brink of starvation. In The Fatal Shore, Bob marvels at all this. The blacks looked on incredulous at the starving settlers. Here were people surrounded by plenty: edible meat, edible fish, and edible native plants. Yet they would rather starve and yearn for a regular British diet than sample the natural riches around them.
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