Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia - 1788-1868
1 Jan 2010
This is the first narrative history that brings together the stories of the political prisoners sent as convicts to Australia from all over Britain and parts of the British Empire, spanning the early days of the penal settlement at Sydney Cove, until transportation ended in 1868. Author Tony Moore asks who were these prisoners, and what led them to take the radical actions they did? Why did the authorities so fear these dissenters and rebels, and was transportation effective in halting dissent? Most crucially, what influence did these political activists in exile have on colonial life and politics, from the Castle Hill Rebellion to trade unionism and the early appearance of responsible and democratic government? In our contemporary climate, where laws are being tightened to curtail dissent in the interests of national security, Death or Liberty seeks to raise questions about the violence of both the state and its opponents, the causes of zeal, ruthlessness and idealism, and to reveal the crucial place of hope, courage and conviction in human progress.