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To the Islands

White Australia and the Malay Archipelago since 1788

To the Islands by Paul Battersby
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US$ 34.99
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To the Islands is a fascinating account of Australia's relations with Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands in the 19th and 20th centuries. Usually, Australia is best remembered for its niggardly and obnoxious White Australia Policy. In this book, Paul Battersby tells a far more complex and an altogether more nuanced story of Australian tourists, businessmen and political leaders and their encounters with the region. The White Australia Policy is an important part of this story, as is the fear, racism and colonial mentality that drove it, but Paul Battersby also alerts us to the important relationships that underpinned the little studied linkages Australians developed throughout the region. To the Islands is an original contribution to the scholarship on Australian-Asian relations. Paul Battersby provides a new perspective that places Australia in a global system of production and exchange, mining the archives for some new and interesting data. He also 'populates' this relationship with accounts of the Australians who encountered the region. Some were undoubtedly colourful characters, but Battersby also introduces his readers to the more average Australian and their experiences of the region. The book is well-researched, well-illustrated, and well-written. Fascinating and important.
Lexington Books; August 2007
267 pages; ISBN 9780739161784
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Title: To the Islands
Author: Paul Battersby
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