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A Million Wild Acres

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Thirty years ago, a bomb landed in the field of Australian consciousness of itself and its land in the form of Eric Rolls' A Million Wild Acres. The ensuing explosion has caused extensive and heated debate ever since amongst historians, ecologists, environmentalists, poets and writers. Now reissued in a commemorative 30th Anniversary Edition for a new generation of readers ...more
Paperback, 465 pages
Published July 31st 1988 by Penguin Books Australia
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May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a stupendous book. It's baggy. It's eccentric. It takes a long time to get to the point. It's pugnacious. It's huge. It's full of hard words. It's packed with details. It is, as Joseph Furphy put it, 'offensively Australian', and it's absolutely marvellous.

Eric Rolls tells the story of all the men and women who lived in the Pillaga forest from 1788 to his own day (1979). He has trawled through the records, and uncovered the stories of countless ordinary men and women. He spices the
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dense with facts, anecdotes and, at times, overwhelming detail, this important book tells a powerful story about the impact of the indigenous people and incoming settlers upon a significant area in Australia. Lovingly researched and written with much personal and professional understanding, the book is a daunting read at one go, but will be one to which I'll return again and again. I wish I hadn't left it so long before the first time!
Barbara Darvall
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full of history.
Hard to take in some of the first part, following various families, but once I'd worked out what to concentrate on and how to group things (in my mind), I could get on with it and really try to understand the story of white settling (?) of Australia.
I had seen this book referred to in many books I've read, so knew I would eventually get to it. It is clearly a very important book.

This book took me on to reading the Goyder biography.
Barbara Boyd-Anderson
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended by one of our major poets, Les Murray, in his compelling foreword, this book is in reprint and is considered an Australian history classic..
Eric Rolls was a farmer in the NSW Pillaga who took to writing about his country in the 1970s. He was not exactly unlettered but he wasn't a conventional historian. This is hugely researched and hugely passionate and knowledgable and wonderfully readable. I hesitate to write anything because other Goodreads' reviewers have hit the nail on the head. I just want to put my name up there with those who have found this book so important to them.

His subject is the history of the land he farms, from
Anne Fenn
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, nonfiction
This is such an individual book, you can feel the mind of the author on every page. Eric Rolls must have been a rascally contrarian to a lot of people in his day: such a mix of traditional values and original thinking, not surprising he had strong reactions from both left and right when this book was published. It won awards in the early 1980s, and is still highly regarded by historians. He focuses for over 400 pages on the Pilliga Scrub/forest area in central NSW. He was a dogged researcher and ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I read this one because Roger Deakin (Wildwood - A journey through trees) was very approving of it. I have the feeling that he quoted the most readable passages.
Large pieces consist of a simple enumeration of persons and their actions. For Australians reading this, this might be very interesting but if you're, like me, mostly interested in what happened with australian nature, what the differences are between today and what it used to be before the European invasion than you have to delve
Les Nicholls
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great big, shaggy book that is half history and half the story of Rolls' love for his country, the Pilliga.
Both sides of the book contain a wealth of knowledge that you will not find anywhere else. Rolls is a farmer and this fact informs his work and adds detail only available to a practical man of the land
Reading the book means working your way through a forest of information. But the effort will give you a new appreciation of the country.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting insight into the complex relationship between people and landscape. This book challenges notions of Pre-European Australian natural landscapes as wilderness, painting a complex and sometimes long winded picture of the historical practices and processes that have shaped the Australian landscape and vegetation.
Steve Groves
A great book to aid understanding of the Australian landscape and the way that the early European settlers had to come to terms with it.
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Oct 26, 2011
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Anne Platts
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Kieron Anderson
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Sep 07, 2017
Charles Burnett
rated it did not like it
Feb 21, 2016
Peter Macinnis
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Aug 28, 2008
Sally O'wheel
I read half of this before i gave it away. Too many names, too many places; I couldn't keep up. i get the 'campfire yarn' method but it needed more structure for me and I couldn't cope with how it meandered all over the place. I kept thinking it would get easier, but in the end I had to give it away and read something easier.
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Mar 13, 2018
Lee Belbin
Some interesting history but too detailed in places
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Apr 28, 2013
Richard Holgate
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