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Tongerlongeter

First Nations Leader and Tasmanian War Hero, new edition

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Australia has no war hero more impressive than Tongerlongeter. Leader of the Oyster Bay nation of south-east Tasmania in the 1820s and ’30s, Tongerlongeter and his allies led the most effective frontier resistance ever mounted on Australian soil. They killed or wounded some 354 — or 4 per cent — of the invaders of their country. Tongerlongeter’s brilliant campaign inspired terror throughout the colony, forcing Governor George Arthur to launch a massive military operation in 1830 — the infamous Black Line. Tongerlongeter escaped but the cumulative losses had taken their toll. On New Year’s Eve 1831, having lost his arm, his country, and all but 25 of his people, the chief agreed to an armistice. In exile on Flinders Island, this revered warrior united most of the remnant tribes and became the settlement’s ‘King’ — a beacon of hope in a hopeless situation.

‘A masterpiece of military history’ — Michael McKernan, The Canberra Times

‘The astonishing story of Tongerlongeter’s valiant struggle to defend his Country, whatever the cost.’ — Mark McKenna, Sydney Morning Herald

‘For me and hopefully for all Tasmanians, Reynolds and Clements provide some redemption by resetting the blackest history with a disturbing but uplifting book.’ — Charles Wooley

‘Raw and engaging, Reynolds and Clements have rescued this forgotten history from obscurity.’ — Dianne Baldock, CEO of Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation

‘This book does not remedy injustice, but it recognises it. It offers Tongerlongeter, his people and his allies respect, recognition and regret.’ — Bill Gammage

‘Reynolds and Clements have given Tasmania a new hero — Tongerlongeter. Australians should revere him as much as their Anzac heroes — he defended his country to the death.’ — Peter Stanley

‘I felt proud reading the story of Tongerlongeter and his epic resistance…Reynolds and Clements reveal the guardians of empire in turmoil. Did we know? We do now.’ — John Pilger

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