Indigenous Australia and The End of the Liberal Consensus

Winner, Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, Prime Minister’s Literary Award, 2011
Peter Sutton is a fearless and authoritative voice in Aboriginal politics.

‘Incandescent, emotional, tragic and challenging’ – Marcia Langton

In this groundbreaking book, Peter Sutton asks why, after three decades of liberal thinking, has the suffering and grief in so many Aboriginal communities become worse?

The picture Sutton presents is tragic. He marshals shocking evidence against the failures of the past, and argues provocatively that three decades of liberal consensus on Aboriginal issues has collapsed.

Sutton is a leading Australian anthropologist who has lived and worked closely with Aboriginal communities. He combines clear-eyed, original observation with deep emotional engagement. The Politics of Suffering cuts through the cant and offers fresh insight and hope for a new era in Indigenous politics.



Peter Sutton

Peter Sutton

Peter Sutton is an anthropologist and linguist who has worked with Aboriginal people since 1969. He speaks three Cape York languages and as an expert on Aboriginal land ownership has assisted with fifty land rights cases. He has authored or edited twelve books, including Native Title in Australia: an Ethnographic Perspective, regarded as the most authoritative work in its field. He is an Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow at the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum, and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

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