Spanning fifty thousand years and an entire continent, The Pure State of Nature presents a passionate account of the Australian environment. The author argues that much of what abounds in popular and scientific writing are myths. In this book, he scrutinizes the theories about the place of humans in the ecology of this vast landmass. In particular, the author's argument runs counter to the widely held consensus concerning the use of fire by Aborigines and their part in the extinction of the Australian megafauna.
Going against the established literature, The Pure State of Nature offers lessons for the new millennium. In turns provocative, humorous, impassioned and gentle, this is a bold book of ideas about the past and present, a book about how we can shape the future.
To The Pure State of Nature Dr David Horton brings many years' experience as a scientist, farmer and archaeologist. Among his publications are Recovering the Tracks and The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia. He now writes and consults from his stud sheep farm in New South Wales.
1 'Paved with good intentions': Theories on Aborigines and the environment
2 'An unchanging people in an unchanging land': Archaeology and the past
3 'A slow strangulation of the mind?': Eating fish is wrong
4 'A people so inclined': To farm or not to farm
5 'Opened up a landscape': Firestick farming and the control burners
6 'The extinction of such pachyderms': The great megafauna debate
7 'Most enlightened conservationists'
8 Convicts dilemma
10 Theses nailed to the door
Dr David Horton has had four successful professional careers as, in turn, biologist, archaeologist, publisher and farmer. He has worked in the field for over twenty-five years and has published widely in academic literature.