Drought: The Red Marauder

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Allen & Unwin, 2005 - History - 291 pages
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The images of drought-baked, cracked earth, dried up river beds, the skeletons of dead animals, and despairing farmers are part of Australia's vision of itself.

Drought is a fact of life in this country and there is usually a drought somewhere in Australia at any particular time. Yet there has been a reluctance to acknowledge drought as a regular feature of Australian life and the arrival of drought is often greeted with what one commentator called indignant surprise.

The story of drought is told through the eyes of people who have lived through droughts over the more than 200 years of European settlement. This is a story of their creativity, their endurance, and their suffering. not become a significant part of the historians' picture of Australia

how have governments sought to manage drought?

The book will move chronologically through the drought years but will be alert to the dangers of repetition and a numbingly similar pattern. It will cover the whole of the continent. It will seek the unusual and the exemplary story. It will try to get the smell of the land and the sweat of the oppressed farmer and his family into the nostrils of the readers. It will be heavily illustrated.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The worst thing we could have entered upon to make money by
25
Dont pray for rain dam it
61
They have come to the bottom of the flour bag and do not know how to replenish it
79
Really its a wonder there are not more mad managers
109
Buying their experience through their mistakes
138
Drought sneaks up on you but so does war
169
It is the one certainty of their way of life
204
Wider economic and political implications
234
Postscript
266
Acknowledgments
270
Notes
272
Index
283
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About the author (2005)

Michael McKernan is a widely published historian, university lecturer, museum administrator, writer and broadcaster. His constant interest has been the story of the Australian people. His other works include Australia: Two Centuries of War and Peace and The Strength of a Nation.

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