The Other Side of the Frontier

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The Other Side of the Frontier
The Other Side of the Frontier.jpg
AuthorHenry Reynolds
SubjectAustralian history
PublisherUNSW Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Pages234 pp
994.0049915 22
LC ClassDU124.F57 R49 2006

The Other Side of the Frontier: Aboriginal Resistance to the European invasion of Australia is a history book published in 1981 by Australian historian Henry Reynolds.[1][2] It is a study of Aboriginal Australian resistance to the British settlement, or invasion, of Australia from 1788 onwards.

The book constituted the first comprehensive research on this topic, and had a profound impact on Australian historiography. The University of New South Wales Press, which published the book, said it "profoundly changed the way in which we understand the history of relations between indigenous Australians and European settlers. It has since become a classic of Australian history."[3] Robert Manne described it as "an important landmark", while Professor Cassandra Pybus of the University of Sydney[4] wrote of the book that "no one could doubt the magnitude of Henry Reynold's achievement in profoundly changing the way we understand our past".[5]

It has also been seen, retroactively, as one of the starting points of the "History Wars", an ongoing academic, political and public debate regarding perceptions and presentations of Australian history.[6]

Reviewing it for the Aboriginal Law Bulletin, John Terry wrote:

Reynolds' book presents important concepts in Australian history. It is an appreciation that the convicts, squatters, explorers, diggers, ticket-of-leave men and the like did not step onto a continent that was barren and uninhabited, but into a rich and complex world of another people who resisted the invasion, fought for their land, struggled to survive - and who continue to struggle for due recognition. These ideas have been familiar for some time of course, and attempts have been made to document them, but this is the first serious production by a competent historian.[7]

In 1982, the book was awarded the Ernest Scott Historical Prize.[8]


  1. ^ Reynolds, Henry; James Cook University of North Queensland (1981), The other side of the frontier : an interpretation of the Aboriginal response to the invasion and settlement of Australia, James Cook University, ISBN 978-0-86443-024-3
  2. ^ Reynolds, Henry (1995), The other side of the frontier : Aboriginal resistance to the European invasion of Australia (2nd ed.), Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0-14-013040-9
  3. ^ UNSW Press website
  4. ^ "Professor Cassandra Pybus", University of Sydney, Department of History]
  5. ^ Back cover citations (ISBN 0-86840-892-1)
  6. ^ Stuart Macintyre and Anna Clark, The History Wars, Melbourne University Press, 2003, pp.44-5, 217
  7. ^ John Terry, "Book Review - The Other Side of the Frontier: An Interpretation of the Aboriginal Response to the Invasion and Settlement of Australia", Aboriginal Law Bulletin
  8. ^ "Papers of Henry Reynolds", National Library of Australia

External links[edit]