Book #0 A&R Classics

Because A White Man'll Never Do It

by Kevin Gilbert

On Sale: 01/08/2013


About the Book

Kevin Gilbert's powerful expose of past and present race relations in Australia is an alarming story of land theft, attempted racial extermination, oppression, denial of human rights, slavery, ridicule, denigration, inequality and paternalism.

First published in 1973, Gilbert's controversial account of Aboriginal affairs paints a disturbing image of the impact of the colonisation of Australia and the ongoing problems faced by the Aboriginal people. the book poses a solution directly addressing what Indigenous people really want: land, compensation, discreet non-dictatorial help and, most of all, to be left alone by white Australia. Gilbert's vivid, personal and widely shared experiences of race relations in Australia formed the basis of his long and enduring struggle for Aboriginal rights up until his death in 1993. Written with the hopes to provoke a galvanisation of his People, Gilbert brings together the voices and memories of various Aborigines. Demonstrating his vision for justice and equality, Gilbert's arguments are still immensely significant and relevant to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians today.

'this book is one of the best political books on land rights ever written... Read [his words] and find an original and Aboriginal thinker who wrote from the heartlands of the Australian spirit' - Mudrooroo

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780732297305
  • ISBN 10: 0732297303
  • Imprint: HarperCollins - AU
  • On Sale: 01/08/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • List Price: 14.99 AUD
  • BISAC1: Society & social sciences / Political activism


Kevin Gilbert descends from English/Irish stock on one side and from the tribes of the Kamilaroi and the Wiradjuri nation on the other. Orphaned at the age of 7, Gilbert’s childhood experiences would quickly come to define his understanding of Australian race relations. In 1957 Gilbert was sentenced to life imprisonment for the unintentional killing of his wife. Increasingly recognised and acknowledged as a leading Australian literary and political figure, Gilbert was awarded the National Book Council Award in 1978 and the Human Rights Award for Literature in 1988, refusing the latter due to the ongoing injustice and suffering of his people.

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