New Australian Front In History Wars





Academics have been warned to defend themselves against renewed attacks by history warriors as a dispute between traditional and private landowners in western Victoria becomes the focus of a new battleground in the Aboriginal history wars. Monash University Associate Professor Bain Attwood yesterday used the launch of his new book, Telling The Truth About Aboriginal History, to attack history commentator Keith Windschuttle and others he labels the new conservatives.

ACADEMICS have been warned to defend themselves against renewed attacks by history warriors as a dispute between traditional and private landowners in western Victoria becomes the focus of a new battleground in the Aboriginal history wars.

Monash University Associate Professor Bain Attwood yesterday used the launch of his new book, Telling The Truth About Aboriginal History, to attack history commentator Keith Windschuttle and others he labels the new conservatives.

Mr Windschuttle sparked the history wars in 2002 with his book The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, which argued that a politically inspired generation of left-wing academics had fabricated the history of Aboriginal mistreatment since white settlement.

"Windschuttle's account of the academic historiography tells us a little about academic historians and their research but a good deal more about himself and his own writing," Professor Attwood said. While Professor Attwood's book is largely a debunking of Mr Windschuttle's arguments, he also expressed concern that Tasmanian academic Michael Connor, writing in The Weekend Australian, argued that an Aboriginal massacre at the heart of the Portland dispute may never have happened.

"A history warrior by the name of Michael Connor, who has connections with those who have been called 'white-blindfold historians', has entered the fray by doing some tabloid history in the pages of The Australian," Professor Attwood said.


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