site for racial war or a feminist paradise?
Melbourne's past contains many struggles over the nature of its
future. While the sleazy entrepreneurs who led white settlement
imagined Port Phillip merely as a source of rich pasture, others
dreamed a different dream.
Melbourne presents a guide through the first hundred
years of political radicalism in Melbourne, focusing
on the structures, streets and public places that remain
today. It concentrates on identifying the physical traces
of radical Melbourne, in the hope that geographical
familiarity will provide a cultural and political bridge
between the struggles of the past and the people of
Melbourne is a secret history of Melbourne, illustrated
by rarely-seen images from the archives of the State
Library of Victoria. The State Library is the book's
major sponsor and has allowed the authors access to
and use of over 80 fascinating historical images never
before published in an historical work. The present-day
images of the old sites offer startling and sometimes
poignant visual contrasts.
Melbourne is also a buried history - sometimes literally.
Readers will be shocked to discover that the present-day
Victoria Market is situated on thousands of uninterred
graves. They will learn of Mebourne's first vegetarian
restaurant and meet the socialist poet who was allowed
to build his own shack in the Melbourne Gaol.
Melbourne is not an academic history; nor is it
an alternative tour guide for jaded walkers. It documents
struggles that matter. Readers of all kinds will acquaint
themselves with unimagined political victories and defeats
from their city's past.
The authors say that "The secret
history of this city seemed to us an inspiration." They
hope that the activists writing their own history among
the Nike billboards and Optus towers of present day
Melbourne share their enthusiasm, so that Radical
Melbourne can play some small part in encouraging
future cities based on visions of freedom rather than
visions of fear.
Melbourne 224pp 255mm x 190mm
134 illustrations ISBN 0 9577352
4 3 rrp $44.95