The Murray

The Murray

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The Murray River is in crisis, and faces an uncertain future. In this evocative book, Paul Sinclair explores the reasons why the river has become degraded, and what these changes have meant to Australians. This in-depth study of the Murray River examines the changing cultural meanings of the river- the practical forgetfulness which has eroded the Aboriginal presence; the triumphant narratives in which a supposedly empty land is made purposeful by the life-giving powers of the Murray; the passion to make the river's flow predictable and to replace 'primitive' forces with a domesticated and balanced landscape. The focus is on shifts and changes. Sinclair describes the brief heyday of the riverboats and their transformation into a tourist attraction; the decline of the mighty Murray cod and the rise of the European carp; and the changing fortunes of the river towns. He demonstrates that 'progress' is often a myth, and that ecological degradation always has cultural costs. This is an innovative cultural and environmental history, about landscape and fish, memory and concepts, imagination and desire. Through a complex interweaving of history, analysis, poetry, art, and indishow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 303 pages
  • 161 x 234.2 x 22.4mm | 557.93g
  • Melbourne University Press
  • Carlton, Australia
  • English
  • illustrations, maps, portraits
  • 0522849407
  • 9780522849400
  • 1,141,920

Review quote

"Paul Sinclair's "The Murray" sings life into a dying river." --"The Sydney Morning Herald"show more

About Paul Sinclair

Paul Sinclair grew up near the Murray River at Kerang, in northern Victoria. He has published widely on Australia's environmental history, and has worked in collaboration with Mandy Martin and the late John Davis, two of Australia's leading environmental artists. As part of the research for this book, Paul and his partner Jen Hocking paddled a canoe 1330 kilometres along the Murray, talking to people and getting to know the intricacies of the river. Paul worked at the 900,000-hectare Bookmark Biosphere Reserve in the South Australian Riverland from 1999 to 2001. He is now a research fellow at the Australian Centre, University of more

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