The history of Aborigines in Van Diemen's Land is long. The first Tasmanians lived in isolation and against almost insurmountable odds for as many as 300 generations after the flooding of Bass Strait. This broad-ranging book is a comprehensive and critical account of that epic survival up to the present day. Starting from antiquity, the book examines the devastating arrival of Europeans and subsequent colonisation, warfare and exile. It emphasises the regionalism and separateness, a consistent feature of Aboriginal life since time immemorial. Carefully researched using extensive archaeological and documentary evidence, this important book fills a long-time gap in Tasmanian history.
Murray Johnson has taught Australian history and Indigenous studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane; the Australian National University, Canberra; and the University of Tasmania, Launceston. He has published widely in both fields, and his most recent book is Australia's Ancient Aboriginal Past: A Global Perspective, and has been heavily involved in the historical underpinnings of Native Title claims in Queensland. Ian McFarlane has taught Aboriginal studies at the University of Tasmania, Cradle Coast, specializes in studies of Aboriginal people from Tasmania's north-west region, and has been a contributor to the History Wars debates. He is the author of the well-known work Beyond Awakening: Aboriginal Tribes of North-west Tasmania.