Killing for Country: A Family Story by David Marr


A gripping reckoning with the bloody history of Australia’s frontier wars

David Marr was shocked to discover forebears who served with the brutal Native Police in the bloodiest years on the frontier. Killing for Country is the result – a soul-searching Australian history.

This is a richly detailed saga of politics and power in the colonial world – of land seized, fortunes made and lost, and the violence let loose as squatters and their allies fought for possession of the country – a war still unresolved in today’s Australia.

“This book is more than a personal reckoning with Marr’s forebears and their crimes. It is an account of an Australian war fought here in our own country, with names, dates, crimes, body counts and the ghastly, remorseless views of the ‘settlers’. Thank you, David.”-Marcia Langton

” Marr is one of the country’s most accomplished non-fiction writers. I was sometimes reminded of Robert Hughes’ study of convict transportation, The Fatal Shore (1987), in the epic quality of this book … Killing For Country is a timely exercise in truth-telling amid a disturbing resurgence of denialism.” -Frank Bongiorno, The Age

Killing for Country … stands out for its unflinching eye, its dogged research, and the quality and power of its writing.” -Mark McKenna, Australian Book Review

“It’s a timely, vital story.” -Jason Steger, The Age

“The timing of this book is painfully exquisite and it demonstrates perfectly how little race politics have changed in Australia.” -Lucy Clark, The Guardian