Terra nullius: a journey through no one's land

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New Press, May 9, 2007 - History - 248 pages
14 Reviews
""At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.""--Charles Darwin, "The Descent of Man" "Terra nullius"--no man's land--was the legal fiction employed to justify the white invasion of Australia. Aboriginal lands were declared "terra nullius" because, it was claimed, they were inhabited by people who would soon die out--and who could be helped on the way to extinction if they lingered. Author of the acclaimed ""Exterminate All the Brutes"" and "A History of Bombing," Sven Lindqvist is one of the most innovative writers and historians at work today. He brings his original sensibility to bear as he travels 12,000 kilometers through so-called no man's land in search of places where belief in the rights of the white man and the inevitable extinction of the "lower races" were put into practice. The world the Aborigines had known for centuries ended as young boys were kidnapped to dive for pearls, then whipped and abandoned when the bends ruined them for work; "half-caste" children were taken from their mothers; and natives were put in neck irons and sent to internment camps under false diagnoses of STDs. Mining history, popular fiction, anthropology, and his own travels, Lindqvist brilliantly weaves together an illuminating and disturbing history of how "no man's land" became the province of the white man.

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Review: Terra Nullius: A Journey Through No One's Land

User Review  - Katja Vehlow - Goodreads

I'm a sucker for travel books. I have never been to Australia, and have seen Australia only through my father's photographs. I encountered Australia for the first time in another travel book, Bruce ... Read full review

Review: Terra Nullius: A Journey Through No One's Land

User Review  - Veganpike - Goodreads

This book should be required reading for anyone interested in the experience of colonization on any continent, but most especially every single white resident of or visitor to Autralia. It is ... Read full review


To Moorundie
The Secret of the Desert
To Kahlin Compound

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About the author (2007)

Sven Lindqvist has published thirty books, including "Exterminate All the Brutes," The Skull Measurer's Mistake, and A History of Bombing (all available from The New Press). He holds a PhD in the history of literature from Stockholm University, an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University, and an honorary professorship from the Swedish government. He lives in Stockholm.