Book ID: CBB723225615

Fatal Contact: How Epidemics Nearly Wiped Out Australia’s First Peoples (2021)


Peter Dowling (Author)

Monash University Publishing

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 400
Language: English

Fatal Contact explores the devastating infectious diseases introduced into the Indigenous populations of Australia after the arrival of the British colonists in 1788. Epidemics of smallpox, tuberculosis, influenza, measles and sexually transmitted diseases swept through the Indigenous populations of the continent well into the twentieth century. The consequences still echo today in Aboriginal health and life expectancy. Many historians have acknowledged that introduced diseases caused much sickness and mortality among the Aboriginal populations and were part of the huge population decline following colonisation. But few writers have elaborated further, and much of this history is still missing, even after more than 200 years. Our knowledge and understanding of the biological consequences surrounding the meeting and contact of these two cultures has not yet been fully investigated. What the investigation in Fatal Contact reveals is nothing short of the greatest human tragedy in the long history of Australia. This is a vitally important story that all Australians should read.

Reviewed By

Review Martin Bush (2022) Review of "Into the Loneliness: The Unholy Alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates". Historical Records of Australian Science (pp. 72-77). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Jones, M.
Tilley, Helen
Crawshaw, Jane L. Stevens
Robins, Nicholas A.
Cameron-Smith, Alexander
Silva, Cristobal Selenite
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal of the History of Biology
Social History of Medicine
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
College Mathematics Journal
Ashgate Publishing
Indiana University Press
Oxford University Press
University of Chicago Press
Duke University Press
The University of Chicago Press
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Infectious diseases
Public health
Great Britain, colonies
Winthrop, John
Bernoulli, Daniel
Finlay, Carlos Juan
Burnet, Frank Macfarlane
Smith, Theobald
Time Periods
Early modern
18th century
19th century
20th century, early
17th century
North America
South America
World Health Organization (WHO)

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