One thought on “Why Weren't We Told?”

  1. Every since I can remember, I couldn't understand why people saw others as different to themselves. As far as I knew, we were all the same in the end. Henry Reynold's book Why Weren't We Told is about the discovery process that he went through (and I subsequently did too) as to how the older generation in Australia had grown up with different baggage that over the generations we have slowly been able to let go of. Historian from Tasmania, Henry spent time living in England before returning to Au [...]

  2. This is a fantastic book that documents the often untold history of Australia and the War which brought it under english Sovreignty. Many schools have begun to teach this in their Australian History classes since the release of this book but there are still a few old school private schools that leave this subject matter alone in their curriculum. If your a history enthusiast or just love Australia, then this book will open your eyes to a world previously hidden from the Australian Public and the [...]

  3. I couldn't put this memoir down. It is an absorbing personal account of coming to know the reality of Australia's past, and our fraught relationship with its first peoples.That Henry Reynolds saw himself as a knowledgeable historian, but didn't know the fuller story about 'settlement' and Black-White relations in Australia is really telling. If scholars of Australian history were unaware of the reality of what happened on the frontier, then it is not surprising that those of us less steeped in h [...]

  4. Super interesting book! I was forced to question my own innate prejudices and read further about the masked darkness of Australia's past. This memoir doesn't blame the Australian population for neglecting Indigenous rights from the 1920s-1980s. After all, how could they have known when the truth was masked for decades? They weren't told! In fact, the late birth of this text (1999) reflects Reynold's own incidental participation in the Silence of the 20th Century.Reynolds dismantles the myth of t [...]

  5. Surprisingly somewhat enjoyable, probably due to my desperation to finish it. It clearly filled out my rather '2D' understanding of 'settler history', the notion of the bushman and the indigenous political and social spheres (or lack there of). I anticipate that MOD C will be more fulfilling than MOD B, and this will be an adequate text to analyse and form my own opinions in regards to bias and textual perspective.

  6. "[dispossession] the view of those who feel they don't belong in Australia, that they are barely tolerated guests or that they will always be so alienated from the land that they can't even contemplate being buried in Australian soil. [] But I cannot remember a time when I did not feel at home [] It has little to do with the will or the intellect. You either feel you belong or you don't. And once that sense is there it can't be given up, willed away or reasoned out of existence. [] history is o [...]

  7. I chose this as my first foray into Henry Reynolds writings, and i'm glad i did so. It has confirmed in my mind the importance of his work and given fresh impetus to read everything he has written.

  8. This book was an interesting read but may not prove to be that revolutionary given it was published in 1991. I was fortunate enough to learn about these issues at university. However, the book brings up some issues which are still relevant today. Firstly, the anecdotes Reynolds shares are sadly not too different from a lot of the attitudes in society today. Secondly, yes we are told about Aboriginal history (every year after a particular point in primary school), however, to the point that it gi [...]

  9. This book was a fantastic read. It tells Henry Reynolds' deeply personal story of his career as an Australian historian specialising in frontier conflict and indigenous histories. Part history, part memoir, and part historiography, what makes this book stand out from other non-fiction texts about Australian history and race-relations is Reynolds' reflection of the process of researching and writing history, as well as how this process has affected him, those around him, as well as the public as [...]

  10. This is such an important topic and such an easy to read memoir-style exploration of the issues that it should be compulsory reading on every syllabus for history, cultural studies and media studies - not too mention aspiring politicians and community leaders. Author Henry Reynolds is not afraid to admit his own ignorance in his development as an historian. Great to read about his wife, Senator Margaret Reynolds, who has shared his life journey. A great complement to the author's other books.

  11. This books asked some deeply challenging and thought provoking questions for me as ateacher given that we are working toward the introduction of a new national history curriculum. My only questions relate to the relative effects of the introduction of diseases such as smallpox to the population numbers along with the unquestioned violence. Did disease play a factor in destabilising the social structures of the indigenous people as it did in North America for the native americans?

  12. An important book and quite easy to read. Reynolds engages with his anecdotal style and credibility as a historian.

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