Killing for Country by David Marr | Black Inc.

Killing for Country: A Family Story

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About the author

David Marr

David Marr has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian and The Monthly, and has served as editor of The National Times, reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV's …

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Praise for Killing for Country

‘If we want the truth, here it is as told by David Marr. He believed that he knew about Australia’s racism and violence. Then he went in search of his great-grandmother’s history. He found Sub-Inspector Reginald Uhr, “a professional killer of Aborigines,” and his brother D’arcy, also in “the massacre business.” This led him “step by step, into the history of the Native Police.” This force, along with the settlers and white police, murdered my ancestors over a fifty-year period in the Dawson Valley and the rangelands and plains of central Queensland, where the war left no one untouched. This book is more than a personal reckoning with Marr’s forebears and their crimes. It is an account of an Australian war fought here in our own country, with names, dates, crimes, body counts and the ghastly, remorseless views of the “settlers.”  Thank you, David.’ —Marcia Langton

Killing for Country joins what is now a vast body of scholarship on Australia’s frontier history. But it stands out for its unflinching eye, its dogged research, and the quality and power of its writing.’ —Mark McKenna, Australian Book Review

‘It's a timely, vital story.’ —Jason Steger, The Age

‘Marr does a masterful job at holding the reader’s attention throughout Killing for Country … whenever the history and the horror threatens to become overwhelming, Marr is there to encapsulate it all with a single devastating sentence.’ —Joe Murray, Readings

‘[Killing for Country] is a book that shines more valuable light on the murderous behaviour of early European colonists in Australia’ —Peter Rodgers, Pearls and Irritations

‘The timing of this book is painfully exquisite and it demonstrates perfectly how little race politics have changed in Australia.’ —Lucy Clark, The Guardian

‘[Marr is] one of the country’s most accomplished non-fiction writers. I was sometimes reminded of Robert Hughes’ study of convict transportation, The Fatal Shore (1987), in the epic quality of this book ... Killing For Country is a timely exercise in truth-telling amid a disturbing resurgence of denialism.’ —Frank Bongiorno, The Age

‘Killing for Country ... stands out for its unflinching eye, its dogged research, and the quality and power of its writing.’ —Mark McKenna, Australian Book Review

‘This is an important book … in which one of Australia’s most respected authors has explored his own connection to the tragic occupation of this continent.’ —Peter Stanley, Honest History

‘Killing for Country … shines a light into the dark shameful corners of our collective national experience. What we will find when we look and listen won’t be pretty, but it is necessary to confront – not to be captives of history, but to learn from it and transcend it.’ —Julianne Schultz, The Conversation

‘Killing for Country: A Family Story, is another plank in truth telling’ —Michael Pascoe, The New Daily

‘A usual plaudit for a book is that a reader “couldn’t put it down”. But a plaudit for David Marr’s new book, Killing for Country, which documents his family’s history as professional killers of Aboriginal people in NSW and Queensland in the mid-1800s, is that it is one you have to keep putting down.’ —Laura Tingle, Australian Financial Review

‘Read David Marr’s excellent book Killing for Country and judge for yourself.’ —Niki Savva, The Sydney Morning Herald

‘The family truth telling … reminds us once again of the terrible cost of the colonisation of Australia’ —Henry Reynolds, Pearls and Irritations

‘…prodigiously researched and immaculately written, David Marr’s Killing for Country: A Family Story is surely one of the books of the year.’ —Richard King, The Australian

‘This is a story about Marr’s family darkness, yes. But it is also a book concerned with our collective shame. No one who reads his important and necessary account with an open mind could consider more decades of voicelessness an acceptable outcome for this nation’s First Peoples.’ —Geordie Williamson, The Saturday Paper

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