Australian Left Review

Article Title

Interpretations of Black History


Gary Nicholls


D.J. Mulvaney’s extensively revised and profusely illustrated basic text of the history of Black Australia prior to the European invasion will undoubtedly become a central reference in studies of Australian archaeology, anthropology and history. It will be used by people as diverse as Black activists, trade union activists, university students and crusty old professors. As well as these people, whose main aim will be the extraction of key descriptive details it will also be important, at a number of levels, for marxists. Yet like all the products of bourgeois social science it needs to be situated in an economic and socio-political context in order to allow some clarification of the nature of the ideological distortion and mystification involved.