Killing for Country

Killing for Country


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David Marr was shocked to discover forebears who served with the brutal Native Police in the bloodiest years on the frontier. Killing for Country is the result - a soul-searching Australian history.

This is a richly detailed saga of politics and power in the colonial world - of land seized, fortunes made and lost, and the violence let loose as squatters and their allies fought for possession of the country - a war still unresolved in today's Australia.

'This book is more than a personal reckoning with Marr's forebears and their crimes. It is an account of an Australian war fought here in our own country, with names, dates, crimes, body counts and the ghastly, remorseless views of the 'settlers'. Thank you, David.' -Marcia Langton

' Marr is one of the country's most accomplished non-fiction writers. I was sometimes reminded of Robert Hughes' study of convict transportation, The Fatal Shore (1987), in the epic quality of this book ... Killing For Country is a timely exercise in truth-telling amid a disturbing resurgence of denialism.' -Frank Bongiorno, The Age

'Killing for Country ... stands out for its unflinching eye, its dogged research, and the quality and power of its writing.' -Mark McKenna, Australian Book Review

'It's a timely, vital story.' -Jason Steger, The Age

'The timing of this book is painfully exquisite and it demonstrates perfectly how little race politics have changed in Australia.' -Lucy Clark, The Guardian

'This is a story about Marr's family darkness, yes. But it is also a book concerned with our collective shame. No one who reads his important and necessary account with an open mind could consider more decades of voicelessness an acceptable outcome for this nation's First Peoples.' -Geordie Williamson, The Saturday Paper

'Killing for Country ... shines a light into the dark shameful corners of our collective national experience. What we will find when we look and listen won't be pretty, but it is necessary to confront - not to be captives of history, but to learn from it and transcend it.' -Julianne Schultz, The Conversation

'The family truth telling ... reminds us once again of the terrible cost of the colonisation of Australia' -Henry Reynolds, Pearls and Irritations

Winner, 2024 Indie Book of the Year Award
Winner, 2024 Indie Book Award for Non-Fiction
Shortlisted, Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards 2024
Shortlisted, 2024 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction
Readings Best Non-Fiction of 2023