Sven Lindqvist was born in 1932 in Stockholm, where he still lives. He has travelled extensively through Asia, Africa and Latin America, and is the author of over thirty books, including Exterminate all the Brutes, Desert Divers and A History of Bombing.
Swedish author Lindqvist ("Exterminate All the Brutes") has written a sobering chronicle of the attempted genocide of aborigines in 19th-century Australia. White settlers arrived and declared whole swaths of countryside terra nullius-no one's land-ignoring the people who had lived there for centuries. By the early 20th century, Lindqvist writes, white Australians recognized that the aboriginals existed, but assumed they were inferior and would one day die out. Indeed, whites massacred the darker-skinned indigenous people, claiming they were only helping the inevitable Darwinian march of progress. Marrying social, political and intellectual history, Lindqvist goes far beyond a predictable history of colonial destruction, violence and exploitation. He shows that many European theorists turned to aboriginals as a case study of the question of when humans became human, and notes that Durkheim and Freud both made crucial assumptions about human development based on their readings of aboriginal cultures. Malinowski criticized Australian aborigines for raising their children liberally; he believed that discipline by beating was a necessary part of parenting. Lindqvist calls for those who have benefited from the oppression of aboriginals to "do penance and mend our ways." Thus, "even the past can be changed." (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
* 'Sven Lindqvist is one of the most original and imaginative writers working today.' Richard Gott * 'A polemical adventure in travel, criticism and autobiography, Desert Divers opens up a vast, discursive territory. It is gripping from start to finish.' Geoff Dyer