Wakefield Press :: History :: Fatal Collisions

Fatal Collisions

The South Australian frontier and the violence of memory

Robert Foster, Rick Hosking, Amanda Nettelbeck

Fatal Collisions
In 1849, James Brown, a South Australian pastoralist, was charged with shooting dead nine Aboriginal people. Unable to find witnesses, the crown was forced to drop the case even though the magistrate was convinced of his guilt. Two generations later, a glowing biography of Brown's life noted merely that he was involved in a charge of poisoning an Aboriginal man, but emerged from the trial with a clean slate. Why had the story changed so much: from shooting to poisoning, from nine victims to one, from evading trial to being found innocent? What forces were at play in reshaping the memory of this event?

Fatal Collisions is about violence on the South Australian frontier and the ways in which it has been remembered in Anglo-Australian accounts of the past. The stories it tells take place in that fluid zone where history, memory and myth meet in popular consciousness.

Winner of the 2002 John Tregenza prize for South Australian History
Shortlisted for the 2002 NSW Premier's Prize for Literature

Praise for Fatal Collisions
'A thought provoking book.' - Paul W. Newbury, Bonzer

'This reassessment of the past has had a profound effect not only on the politics of the nation, but on the way we see ourselves as a nation ... The timely reprint of this ‘great little book’ may go a long way towards reconciling the different points of view.' - Nic Klaassen, Flinders Ranges Research
Category History
Format Paperback
Other information
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781862545335
Extent 176 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
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