A background element in “Fatal Empires” is the astonishing assumption by the European powers of the 19th century that they could legitimately grab any territory they wished.
“Soaring with Cockatoos” tells the story of the resistance put up by a tribe of Aborigines in the 1880s to the European invasion in Western Australia. The charismatic young leader, who by today’s standards was a hero, was hunted down like a dog.
George Augustus Robinson fled to Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land) to escape a trial in England. In Tasmania he became involved with the “natives”, learned one of their languages, liked the Aborigines and was trusted by them. Yet he became the main catalyst of their destruction. Read about it in “Paradise Stolen”.
Political crime flourishes when other people let it occur. “As though everything depended on me” is the opposite attitude, and was the motto of Kurt Lenz, a gifted and courageous German journalist who tried to stem the rise of Hitler’s fascism.
Read about it in the novel with his motto as its title.
The “shock doctrine”: unscrupulous companies exploit people unable to resist because of natural catastrophes. Read almost a textbook example of that in “God Has No Church”.
The admirable young climate activists of today had a precendent in 1968. IN “Winter 1968” you read of the experiences of a conservative young Englishman’s political awakening in that tumultuous year.
“Fatal Empires” is an epic presenting Oceania during the period of European colonisation of the rest of the world. The action is set on a large island north of Australia and in the colony of Queensland at a time when racism ruled supreme. But, as the novel shows, some Europeans rose above the standards of their time.