+612 9045 4394
 
The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia - Bill Gammage

The Biggest Estate on Earth

How Aborigines Made Australia

Paperback

Published: 1st June 2012
In Stock. Usually ships in 1-2 business days
RRP $39.99
$33.50
16%
OFF

Explodes the myth that pre-settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people.

Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised.

For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and the life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and now we know how they did it.

With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The Biggest Estate on Earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires we now experience. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.

About the Author

Bill Gammage is a historian and adjunct professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. He is best known as author of the ground-breaking The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia
 
4.3

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deeply informative (13)
  • Easy to understand (8)
  • Well written (8)
  • Unique interpretation (7)
  • Continually relevant (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Reference (10)
  • Gift (4)
  • Older readers (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (8), Bookworm (3), Casual reader (3)

Reviewed by 14 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

Revelations

By 

from Talbingo, AU

About Me Casual Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deeply Informative

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Reference

    Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

    Australian history avoided by the British establishment. Evidence of the successful civilisation exiting for about 50,000 years before British invasion on the basis that Australia was not occupied.
    All Australains need to be informed of the content of this book.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    4.0

    An Essential Book for all Australians

    By 

    from Darwin

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Continually Relevant
    • Deeply Informative
    • Groundbreaking Research
    • Unique Interpretation
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Reference
      • Special Needs

      Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

      Should be on all School and University Curriculum lists.
      How Aboriginal people are essential to all Australians and how they controlled this land for thousands of years.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      4.0

      In depth study of Land Management.

      By 

      from Narrabri AU

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Continually Relevant
      • Deeply Informative
      • Easy To Understand

      Cons

      • Limited Appeal

      Best Uses

      • Reference

      Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

      Not a gripping book although the information supplied seems well researched and presented. The Author seems to have spent a lot of time checking and rechecking the facts as far as he can. It provides a lot of answers that I had about the way the land has changed over the years

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      4.0

      A new look at an ancient ( local ) history

      By 

      from Central Coast NSW

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deeply Informative
      • Easy To Understand
      • Unique Interpretation

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Australian History

        Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

        Extensive research on a subject that is little understood, even by Australian "history" experts. An enjoyable & enlightening read, this book has given me an insight into the nature of the vast interaction between the former caretakers of this country & their varied environments.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        4.0

        Just started to read, but it is great so

        By 

        from Kinglake, AU

        About Me Casual Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deeply Informative
        • Unique Interpretation
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Reference

          Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

          I am just starting to read it. It was recommended, and I am interested on how burn-offs in the bush can help maintain it.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          4.0

          Must read for land managers

          By 

          from Pilbara

          About Me Casual Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deeply Informative
          • Easy To Understand
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Reference
            • Special Needs

            Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

            A good read for all land managers (farmers, pastoralists and conservation managers), related government agencies (all levels of government), environmentalists and bush fire agencies.

            Through detailed descriptions of the land and aboriginal land management of 1788 the book gives insights into how land can be better managed now.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            4.0

            Excellent information

            By 

            from Perth AU

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Pros

            • Broad Appeal
            • Deeply Informative
            • Easy To Understand

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Reference

              Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

              Bill Gammage sets the record straight on Aboriginal management of fire. This contrasts with the eco-mythology presented by some other writers, academics, and environmentalists. At a public talk in Perth, an Aboriginal member of the audience thanked him for his effort. I hope this book finds a place on the shelf of most Australians - it would be a useful reference for school and university libraries.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              Great Book on an important subject.

              By 

              from Gold Coast

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Broad Appeal
              • Continually Relevant
              • Deeply Informative
              • Easy To Understand
              • Groundbreaking Research
              • Unique Interpretation
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

                  Could change the way that we look at the Australian Bush.

                  Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                   
                  5.0

                  It is vital for our future learning

                  By 

                  from Woodend

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Broad Appeal
                  • Continually Relevant
                  • Deeply Informative
                  • Easy To Understand
                  • Groundbreaking Research
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Older Readers
                    • Reference
                    • Travel Reading

                    Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

                    This book presents great insights into 'The First Australians' and how we can and should learn from them. It should cause environmentalists to rethink how we prepare for bushfire and to not stop burning in order to preserve that which, has for thousands of years, been cared for via careful burning.

                    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                     
                    4.0

                    A must read for all thinking Australians

                    By 

                    from Canberra

                    About Me Everyday Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Deeply Informative
                    • Groundbreaking Research
                    • WELL RESEARCHED

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about The Biggest Estate on Earth : How Aborigines Made Australia:

                        Bill Gammage brings a new perspective to traditional views of Aboriginal culture. He shows us a culture based on thousands of years of expertise in farming and caring for the land, in modifying wilderness to be sustainably productive.It should make us reassess our ideas of wilderness conservation. All Australians should read this book.

                        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                        Displaying reviews 1-10

                        Back to top

                        Previous | Next »

                        "This bold book, with its lucid prose and vivid illustrations, will be discussed for years to come." --"Australian Book Review"

                        Contents..Illustrations..Thanks..Sources..Abbreviations..Definitions..Foreword by Henry Reynolds..Australia in 1788..Introduction: The Australian estate..1. Curious landscapes..2. Canvas of a continent..Why was Aboriginal land management possible?..3. The nature of Australia..4. Heaven on earth..5. Country..How was land managed?..6. The closest ally..7. Associations..8. Templates..9. A capital tour..10. Farms without fences..Invasion..11. Becoming Australian..Appendix 1: Science, history and landscape..Appendix 2: Current botanical names for plants named with capitals in the text..Notes..Bibliography..Index

                        ISBN: 9781743311325
                        ISBN-10: 174331132X
                        Audience: Tertiary; University or College
                        Format: Paperback
                        Language: English
                        Number Of Pages: 384
                        Published: 1st June 2012
                        Publisher: Allen & Unwin
                        Country of Publication: AU
                        Dimensions (cm): 24.5 x 17.2  x 2.8
                        Weight (kg): 1.04
                        Edition Number: 1