Return to Uluru

Books on Tape. Aug. 2022. 5:25 hrs. ISBN 9780593585740. $57. CRIME
McKenna’s (From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories) latest details one of Australia’s coldest cases: the murder of an Aborigine man in 1934 by a white police officer at one of continent’s most sacred spots. At the South Australian Museum’s storage facility, McKenna comes across a long-forgotten skull in a cardboard box. This begins his search for truth. Through the use of letters, diaries, newspapers, and interviews, McKenna provides a glimpse into an unsettling side of Australian history. White supremacy, colonialism, and the objectification of Aborigine people all played a part in this tragic murder. David Linski narrates this nearly century-old true crime tale, providing a sympathetic, yet straightforward, reading of the investigation. Listeners may see similarities with the history of civil rights in the United States, including the treatment of Black Americans and Indigenous peoples.
VERDICT A timely and well-researched look into the aboriginal history of Australia, with parallels to other modern civil rights movements. Readers who appreciated Sierra Crane Murdoch’s Yellow Bird or David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon will be drawn to this chilling look into Australian history.
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