A Short History of Australia Author:Manning Clark In 1688 William Dampier found the aboriginal inhabitants on the west coast of New Holland "the miserablest people in the world...setting aside their human shape, they differ but little from brutes". More than a hundred years later the British covict settlements on the east coase were still marked by misery: the harshness of a prison society, wh... more »ere "excessive tyranny each day prevails". Material growth was bought slowly and painfully by the forced labour of prisoners whose difiance might be punished by a thousand lashes.
What lies between these beginnings and the well-fed Australian surf-riders gazing proudly from the travel posters of the 1960s? Manning Clark sees in the story of Australia not only the surface of progress, but also the debates and struggles, often bitter and desperate, which lie behind the smiling compromise of Australian society today.« less