Bain, Kevin: Review of Klaus Neumann’s Across the Seas: Australia’s response to refugees

Bain, Kevin

Review: Klaus Neumann’s Across the Seas: Australia’s response to refugees: a history‘, Independent Australia, 19 March 2016

Long, descriptive review of this book, published last year by Penguin, also reviewed in Fairfax, The Australian, Resident Judge blog, Sydney Review of Books, and The Saturday Paper, and discussed on ABC RN.

Today, Australia’s response to asylum-seeking “boat people” is a hot-button issue that feeds the political news cycle. But the daily reports and political promises lack the historical context that would allow for informed debate. Have we ever taken our fair share of refugees? Have our past responses been motivated by humanitarian concerns or economic self-interest? Is the influx of ‘boat people’ over the last fifteen years really unprecedented? (blurb)

Miriam Cosic in Guardian Australia looks at the history of people smuggling. Peter Mares on Inside Story during the election campaign. Dennis Muller in Meanjin on the politics of foreigners, fear and envy.

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