Morrissey, Doug: Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves

Doug Morrissey

Ned Kelly: Selectors, Squatters and Stock Thieves, Connor Court Publishing, Brisbane, 2018

Doug Morrissey’s acclaimed book Ned Kelly: A Lawless Life (2015) was short listed for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Australian History in 2016. This, his second book in a trilogy of historical works dealing with Ned’s life and times, shines a much needed light on the bushranger’s pioneer community. The lives of selectors, squatters, and stock thieves are examined, revealing a complex community, significantly different from the Kelly myth fiction of squatter tyranny, police oppression and selector poverty and despair. Morrissey’s book holds the key to understanding the Kelly Outbreak, Ned and his sympathisers and the neglected “silent” majority of respectable, law abiding residents. It reveals the collaborative fulcrum on which community life turned, based on cooperation not conflict. Settling the land is discussed as a successful pioneering endeavour rather than the usual depressing tale of woe. Cultural beliefs, shared values, community goals and how people conducted and expressed themselves in their daily lives, are at the centre of this groundbreaking book. Those writing about the bushranger’s life and times from now on will need to reference Morrissey’s evidence-based research or their writings will not be taken seriously. (blurb)

The book is reviewed for Honest History by Michael Piggott. Doug Morrissey’s speech at the launch of the book in August 2018. His speech launching a book (Black Snake: The Real Story of Ned Kelly) by Leo Kennedy (with Mic Looby), descendant of one of the policemen killed by Kelly at Stringybark Creek. Extract from Morrissey’s book in the Herald-Sun (and comments). A book by Stuart Dawson on the supposed republic of north-east Victoria. Morrissey’s other articles for Honest History can be found here or by using our Search engine.

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