Author(s): W. K. Hancock
Discovering Monaro, a fascinating local history of an Australian region, is at the same time a contribution to the current debate on the environment and man's manipulation of it. Sir Keith Hancock examines critically the indictment, heralded by Plato in the Critias, that man is a creature who spoils his environment and in so doing spoils himself. He discovers in Monaro, as he did on the terraced hillsides of Tuscany forty years ago, a rhythm of spoiling, restoring and improving. Monaco, a region of nearly 6,000 square miles in Australia's south-eastern corner, is the main provider of water to the earth's driest continent. Sir Keith provides a detailed history of the land use of the area from palaeolithic times to the present day, thus explaining how boo generations of 'black' Australians and six generations of 'white' Australians have supported themselves on its grassy uplands and alpine water-sheds.
Part I. Perspective View: 1. Theme; 2. The first discoverers; Part II. New Arrivals: 3. Squatting; 4. Spoiling; 5. Improving; Part III. Possessing the land: 6. Battles for possession; 7. Spoiling; 8. Improving; 9. White men in the high country - the first hundred years; Part IV. The two landscapes: 10. The tableland; 11. The high country; 12. Looking forward.