A GRISLY BUSINESS IN AUSTRALIA
THE AGE, AUSTRALIA
The man behind the history wars takes on Aunty
David Rood and Simon Mann
June 16, 2006
JUST when the history wars that have gripped the Australian academy seemed to be quietening, the Howard Government has rolled a fresh grenade into the debate. There could have been few greater acts of provocation than the appointment of historian Keith Windschuttle — so-called martyr of the right — to the ABC board.
Mr Windschuttle is charged with starting the history wars with his 2002 book The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, which argues frontier warfare between Aborigines and colonial settler is a myth. He accuses historians — Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan among them — of inaccuracy and dishonesty. In the book he rejects suggestions that the history of settlers was one of genocide. He says that between 1801 and 1834, 187 Europeans were killed and 120 Aboriginals in Tasmania.
His critics have drawn the bow, aimed, and all but fired the arrow of historical revisionism. "This is a grisly business," wrote Melbourne University professor Stuart Macintyre. "The downward revision of deaths in the Holocaust is an industry that has brought censure on David Irving and the revisionist school". (More..)