This provocative study breaks new ground. It argues that, in a period dominated by the white Australia ideal, the nation's political leaders were content to allow disease and malnutrition, as well as punitive police raids, to ravage the Aboriginal population of the Northern Territory, and that for decades there was a failure to provide funding to implement publicly announced policies. Written for a general readership, "Governing Savages" explains how such a state of affairs could arise and be tolerated in a professedly humane society. The result of almost a decade of research by one of the leading scholars in the field of Australian race relations, the book analyzes the attitudes of pastoralists, missionaries, administrators, judges and politicians and of those - including Aboriginal leaders - seeking to awaken the conscience of Australians and bring to an end generations of brutality and callous indifference. Andrew Markus is the editor of journals on Aboriginal history, intercultural studies and labour history, and was a consultant to the Fitzgerald Committee on Australia's immigration policies.
The author of "Blood from a Stone", he is currently Senior Lecturer in History at Monash University, Melbourne. This book is intended for general readers, and students and researchers in Australian and Aboriginal studies.