Author(s): K. Baker
Dr Kevin Baker takes a clear-headed and historical look at civil and military unrest in Australasia from the earliest times of European colonisation to the riots at Cronulla in 2005 whose intensity and aftermath took Australia by surprise. In the process, he examines many insurrections, the best know of which and most notorious - the Rum Rebellion, Vinegar Hill, Eureka - took place in the nineteenth century and relates them to an ongoing, but diminishing number of not just tilts at authority, but direct challenges to it. These include goldfield disturbances, the Melbourne police strike, prison and detention centre riots, the New Zealand naval mutiny of 1947, a number of naval and military attempts to challenge and buck authority, and attempted political assassinations. Many of these incidents - of various degrees of seriousness - are less well known than they deserve to be. Baker also takes the reader through a careful examination of the key terms - sedition, riot, mutiny - which are examined in legal terms and in relation to larger ethical issues and ongoing debates that can be traced back to the beginnings of Western civilization.