quinta-feira, novembro 28, 2013

A Secret Country, by John Pilger

This book was suggested to me by an Australian friend; he said “This a good book to help you understand this country.” And I did find it extremely interesting, especially after having been there. In a way, it’s a grim reading, and, having spent such a pleasant time sightseeing in Australia, I couldn’t help but having the recurrent thought “so much darkness in Paradise!”. But I think it helps to understand the country, in particular the first chapter in what regards the Australian character and the fourth about its history. The appalling account of the Aborigines’ treatment wasn’t new to me, but it’s always chillingly shocking. The chapters about politics are less interesting, because unfortunately the situation is not much different in the rest of the Western world – what the author mentions in the preface,"What is happening today in Australia is no more than a warning that liberal societies are being returned to passivity, obedience and secrecy and that the subjugation of people's minds and pockets has a new set of managers and a new vocabulary.", can be said of all the Western democracies since the early ‘90s. And I think he lingers too long on the details there, sounding a little obsessed with CIA conspiracies – that are perfectly credible, but the tone comes out a little paranoid.

In short, I think it’s a very interesting reading, especially if one wants to know more about Australia, which is mostly an unknown country to us Europeans.

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