"Taming the Great South Land" is the first full-length landscape history of an entire continent occupied by one nation. It is also, in William Lines's telling, a brutal and controversial story. Examining the ways European society rapidly, radically transformed Australia's physical and human landscapes, the author writes candidly of repeated environmental devastationfrom the early slaughter of seals and whales to the destructive spread of sheep, through gold rushes and land settlement to British nuclear tests and the modern mining and timber industries.
Lines shows how Enlightenment ideas of progress, economic growth, and development were reconstructed on Australian soil, and how the promise of the conquest of nature became a mockery in fact, resulting in the mass dislocation and destruction of indigenous populations.
This shocking narrative, thoroughly researched and accessibly written, combines environmental, social, and political history to hard-hitting effect."