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The Pearl Frontier

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About the Author

Julia Martinez is associate professor of history at the University of Wollongong, Australia.Adrian Vickers holds a personal chair in Southeast Asian Studies and is director of the Asian Studies Program at the University of Sydney, Australia.


This book should be on the 'read urgently' list of every labour historian. . . . This is an analysis which moves effectively between the emotion of personal stories- the lives of workers and their families- across two empires to the financial capitals of the world. . . . This book allows insight into that world of transnational labour which is just as crucial for the labour historians of Melbourne or Sydney as it is for those of the extraordinary industries of the seas between northern Australia and eastern Indonesia.-- "Labour History Melbourne" This is an important book for two reasons. First, Mart nez and Vickers set out to uncover a shared history between Australia and Indonesia in a period when these two emerging nations are usually considered quite separate. . . . Second, The Pearl Frontier challenges the inflexible nature of Australia's twentieth century policy of immigration restriction, epitomized by the notorious White Australia Policy.-- "World History Connected" Mart nez and Vickers place their impressive study of pearling firmly in the long history of mobility of people and goods across borders in what we now call Southeast Asia. The personal stories provide additional value that deepen our understanding of indentured labour.-- "Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde" This welcome volume focused on maritime Australian-Indonesian connections, serves as a reminder a reminder of the deep historical roots of the intertwined dynamics of mobile capital and mobile labor. Through meticulous research, the authors identify and trace the complex networks that drew together Euro-Australian capital and Indonesian indentured labor in the pearling industry . . . The authors draw on a wealth of sources from standard archives to newspapers, literature, and oral histories to narrate this fascinating history. -- "The Historian"

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