Publication Details

Veracini, L. 2005, 'A review of A. Dirk Moses (ed.), Genocide and settler society: frontier violence and stolen indigenous children in Australian history ', Australian Humanities Review, vol. 35,

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Australian Humanities Review


Genocide and Settler Society constitutes a successful exercise in deparochialization. Until now, discussions of genocides in an Australian context have centered on whether this category could be applied, accompanied by debated qualifications, to the experience of Indigenous people. On the contrary, Genocide and Settler Society ultimately and convincingly reverses this order. It is not a matter of testing the relevance of genocide studies to Australian history; rather, there is a need to explore the ways in which genocide studies at large can benefit from an appraisal of the Australian experience. In order to perform this intellectual recasting, Dirk Moses has gathered contributions from a number of very authoritative Australian historians and public intellectuals, some of whom have been tremendously influential, at different stages, in the comprehensive reshaping of the historiographical landscape. These include Raymond Evans and Henry Reynolds (whose works on colonial violence and on Indigenous resistances started appearing in the 1970s), Anna Haebich and Robert Manne (who, more recently, have published extensively on the issue of stolen/removed children), and Russell McGregor and Tim Rowse (who have worked on the manufacture and delivery of Aboriginal policies). At the same time, one of the points of the book is to decompartmentalize this discussion and Moses has also gathered the work of international scholars on genocide in other contexts.