Top positive review
‘Australia rode on the back of Aboriginal people’
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2019
Author Barbara Miller brings to our attention the life and impact of William Cooper and his extraordinary impact on the human rights movement. Not only is Barbara a writer of historical books, she is also a pastor, psychologist, sociologist, mediator, teacher and social justice advocate! Her award winning books have become a staple for readers wishing to learn more about Australian history.
In her brief preface Barbara states, ‘William Cooper was a pioneer of the Aboriginal movement for human rights in Australia and much of what has happened since his passing has built on the platform he established…William Cooper was not alone. The stories of other key Aboriginal leaders of his time are also covered.’ Now this book is Book 1 of Barbara’s duology, this one serves as a history of Indigenous affairs from contact till today.
Extensively researched and presented in a near novel-like manner, the history opens with the birth of William Coop in 1860 and proceeds through his life to his demise in 1941. Barbara makes excellent use of vintage photographs to enhance her fine biography and social document. She traces the first white settlers and the impact they made on the country’s economy and workforce, one of the key forces in Cooper’s commitment to human rights and social justice. Many important characters populate this book, such as the missionary Daniel Matthews among others. Relating the facts with points of background interest keeps the flow of the book alive and vibrant.
There is so much to learn from this extensively annotated epic survey: the history and tensions and abuse of human rights has a clear parallel with situations in other countries, especially in America. We learn, or should learn, from history, and aside from reading this fascinating book for enjoyment, explore the thought patterns and developments as they apply here, today. Or as Barbara summarizes, ‘William Cooper spoke up. William Cooper stood up and was counted. So, should we all in whatever way we can. The price of freedom and justice is high, but the cost of losing it is higher.’ Recommended. Grady Harp, September 19