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Fly a Rebel Flag

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Part docu-drama, part non-fiction narrative, Fly A Rebel Flag takes the reader to the Victorian goldfields of 1855 and an event that helped shape our nation. Each chapter of the book opens with an eyewitness account of the mood and attitudes of the people involved in the gold rush and eventually the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat. Historian Annear’s exhaustive research imbues these passages with real passion and authenticity. Characters from both sides of the campaign present their feelings in their own words, helping the reader to understanding how the Eureka Stockade came to be and why there was a rebellion and bloodshed. The chapters then present historical information that describes the events of the rebellion and explains its significance in our history. Here Annear presents the gold diggers’ stories to the reader, showing the basis for their grievances under the harsh regime of Governor Hotham. Gough Whitlam said in 1973 as he unveiled the original Eureka flag ‘the importance of an historical event lies not in what happened but in what later generations believe to have happened’. Annear has presented a text that will help students understand the reasons behind this significant event and give them the freedom to decide what they believe to have happened—a must for every school library. Ben Beaton is a Perth writer and teacher. C. 2003 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

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