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I was seeking interviews that would place the life experience of my participants within the broader nar- IS rative of environmental change that the Mallee has experienced. We had plenty of archival material that conveyed the process of transformation the Mallee has undergone since European settlement, but sought to add EV another layer of interpretation and analysis and to gain a sense of how people articulate the interconnections between themselves and the lands they live within.

The interviews that this chapter draws upon were con- R ducted with residents who had all been born in the Mallee or married into it.

They were all, or had been, farmers, and most were from families, or married into families, who could trace their arrival in the Mallee back to the early waves of European settlement. Like most life history inter- views, topics covered include childhood, education and adult lives.

They are rich stories about family and identity, growing up and growing older, raising children, and coping with the challenges of living and farming in the Mallee.

There is much about environmental change within them, but it is inextricably entwined with the broader narratives of their lives. Understanding the ways environment and people have shaped each other in the Mallee requires us to keep in view the ways the familial, social, cul- tural and emotional also shape the more-than-human world Fig.

Photograph courtesy of Deb IS Anderson EV Oral history is full of intimate, intricate narratives; the life histories shared in this project balance the broad sweep of environmental change with the detail of the daily. Oral history offers the opportunity to locate and interrogate individual lives within their webs of interconnected worlds. And it enables us to weave into those webs the sensory and emotional lives of the people who filled them. It can add texture and depth, enriching our histories and enabling us to better understand the dynamic relationship between peo- ple and the environments they have transformed.

In this chapter I use oral history interviews to explore the ways in which the gendered identi- ties of our participants are shaped by their understanding of the land. This relationship with the land also shapes a strong collectively felt sense of Mallee identity. Past narratives of settler-Australian land use shape the ways people respond to present challenges, and participants regularly K. This chapter also explores the ways individual lives can disrupt and challenge the meta-narratives of colonial and national progress, of pioneering and the frontier, at the same time as those meta-narratives shape the ways in which individuals seek to frame their life story and anticipate their future.

The narrative celebrating that transformation was PR being crafted even as the changes were being enacted. In , the engi- neer and surveyor A. Poor EV seasons, the collapsed price of wheat during the s Depression and inadequate government support led many settlers to abandon their blocks and the Mallee. However, for those who remained in the Mallee and still had the means to sow a crop, the breaking of the drought in produced a bumper harvest. The emerging narrative told of Mallee farmers being pushed to F the limits of endurance, but repaid tenfold if they had the stamina to O withstand the trials of Mallee life.

Each farmer I have interviewed has echoed it in some form or other. It ED has become the foundation story of the Mallee—its genesis myth. It is a story that links the Mallee to the founding national myth of the pioneer legend but posits a Mallee exceptionalism.

And, like many foundation IS stories, it can both enable and impede. In recent years historians have drawn specific attention to the envi- ronmental implications of European colonisation of the Mallee. These EV emerge readily in any telling of the history of Mallee farming: clearing of Eucalyptus dumosa deprived the fine sand of its clinging roots; over- cropping and over-cultivation led to desertification; drought intensified R the process; dust storms were legendary; and topsoil from the Mallee began to appear as red dust in Melbourne homes and on the snow fields of New Zealand.

The ancient history of the landscape became visible as shallow-rooted crops replaced deep-rooted trees, causing the water table to rise and drawing the underlying salt to the surface. Mice and locust plagues added to the misery of dust storms. Settler responses to these calamities form part of the environmen- tal story. Tales of survival are linked to the need to constantly adapt to changing circumstances.

Droughts have often been times of learning. The drought of — saw the consolidation of small unprofitable blocks into larger holdings, and the establishment of the Soil Conservation Authority. Following the catastrophic drought of , many farmers K. In their readiness to embrace developments in science and technology, the Mallee has once again been transformed.

In the system of no-till farming, fallowing and sheep are no longer used to address the problem of weeds.

GPS-guided computers determine the O location of the furrows and the seeds. Weeds are controlled through extensive spraying of herbicides. No-till farming has dramatically reduced O the prevalence and severity of dust storms. The adoption of these new farming methods has compounded the move to industrial-scale farming.

If you want bigger machinery, you need a bigger income. Understanding the val- ues and the thinking that drives their decisions enables us to identify EV the meanings that they bring to their work and lives as farmers. We can learn about their motivations for change, and the ways they situate themselves in the narratives about the past and the future. One of the R enduring tropes that finds its way into the narratives of Mallee farmers is that of the frontier.

The contemporary frontier trope employed most readily by our participants suggests other meanings: it is one of pushing boundaries, utilising cutting-edge agricul- tural research to improve yields and manage land. All of the men discussed here grew up in the Mallee and inherited a farm, or part thereof, that they continued to work, even if they had some time away. Three of the four women were born in the Mallee or close by, and married into Mallee families and ED the farms that came with them.

Only very recently have women in the Mallee inherited farms, and it is still rare. He sold the block in and bought another, which Bob still owns and his son now farms. The orig- O inal tree planted in his memory died, so Bob and his family planted a native Kurrajong tree and made a plaque to record the family tragedy.

American anthropologist Stephen Foster observes: ED The land brackets history, is its theatre, its ground. Land situates the tran- sit of the person within history; … Pioneering ancestors came to the land and there gave birth to their descendants.

Present-day descendants expect IS eventually to be laid to rest in the land, while hoping for history to con- tinue to flow on through the land once their own lives are over. Thus blood and family lines are inextricably interwoven with the history of land EV and place.

For these interviewees, Indigenous R history rarely features in their stories. No participants mention Indigenous blood spilt on the genealogical landscape they map.

There is mention of attending school with local Aboriginal children, and of having them as playmates, but there are no Aboriginal adults in the stories gathered from non-Indigenous participants. Life was simple, you made your own fun, rode a horse or a bike to school, attended church on Sundays and social- ised with family and friends. Children were F also crucial as farm hands: sewing wheat bags, clearing sticks and stumps O from wheat fields, rounding up sheep.

This O diversity was both an essential aspect of the cycle of fallowing, where sheep were moved onto the recently cropped paddocks and helped keep PR weeds in check, as well as providing some income protection as sources of revenue to help hedge against fluctuations in market prices.

better the devil you know than the devil you don't know

Many farmers have divested themselves of sheep in the move to broad-acre farming but recent dry years have seen some farmers reinvesting in stock as a strategy to diversify their exposure to climate variations. ED Many interviewees recalled intense immersion in the landscapes of their childhoods. Like most childhood memories, they are tinged with nostalgia, but the sense of this landscape as a potentially malevolent IS force, and life here as precarious, lurks.

Detailed knowledge of their landscape is interwoven with childhood EV experiences connecting them to some of the more memorable—and catastrophic—events in Victorian and South Australian environmental history.

Dawn Petschel born grew up just south of the Mallee R and spent hours roaming the scrub around her home. She knew its flora and fauna intimately. Her father worked as a labourer and after leaving school at 15 her first job was alongside him, cutting eucalyptus bush from which eucalyptus oil would be extracted.

They camped beside the bush to be closer to work and were camping here when the 14 January bushfires burnt through the area. She saved her camera, a rare item of lux- ury in an otherwise subsistence existence. They knew every type of bird, every nest, and the colour and size of every egg. Helen Ballentine born was O one such child. She was deeply involved in farm life as a child and started driving the tractor at the age of eight, far preferring to help her father on O the farm with ploughing and caring for the sheep than assist her mother in the house.

Nature study was a central part of the school curriculum PR and Helen loved the learning that happened outside. Her favourite place on the farm was the mallee scrub and the natural springs she found there where the water seeped up through the sand.

The Devil You Don't Know: Recognizing and Resisting Evil in Everyday Life - Cameli, Louis J.

John Cass, always ED on the lookout for ways to earn pocket money, trapped rabbits and sold them and caught foxes and sold their skins. He would also pluck the wool off dead sheep and sell it. From an early age they were involved in shaping their family farm, learning the contours of its rises, its changes in soil.

They learnt too the nature of its EV seasons—the cycles of drought and abundance. Working alongside their parents, they heard the stories of family hardship, of struggle and sur- vival, and the strategies that helped them endure. Nicholas Gill writes of R the importance of these experiences in shaping the historical memory of pastoralists in Central Australia: They carve out a place for themselves through suffering, and in turn the experience is carried by them and their heirs … Indeed, among pastoral- ists the shared embodiment of these experiences is an important part of collective identity and memory, marking them off from others whom they assume to have no understanding.

Stories of pioneering ancestors merge into narratives of farming conditions which required a frontier mentality of constant adaptation and innovation. John Cass wanted to be a farmer and, despite encouragement from his PR parents and teachers to stay at school, like Bob Schilling, he left as soon as he could, aged Both knew they wanted to be Mallee farmers.

A key theme of the Mallee foundation story is that of adaptability. Mallee farmers have to adapt to the extremes of a highly variable climate. The testing points are the drought years. Farmers recite these like a liturgy: —, , , , They R are seared into cultural and individual memories, and handed down from one generation to the next. As Deb Anderson has shown, drought, and endurance, are seen as defining features of Mallee climate and farming; surviving drought is central to the identity of Mallee farmers.

And we did quite well that year. There were two paddocks we grazed off to sheep. We sewed off 30 points [ I was on my own then. F And I did still sell a bit of wheat that year, but it was pretty tough going. I had sheep.

How much had their fathers taught O them? We hear the importance of knowledge and practice passed from one generation to another, embodied and inscribed upon the land.

Don't You Know There's A War On

The drought confirmed their identity as Mallee farmers, and they joined a lineage for whom the stories of drought and resilience had for decades helped them ED navigate the uncertainty of the variable Mallee climate. But everyone remem- bers the severity of the drought, perhaps the more so because it was short and broken by timely rains which ensured produced a R bumper harvest.

These environmental stories of drought are also family stories of inheritance and generation, and gender. For Russell, the knowledge that he remembers relying upon was not the knowledge learnt at agricultural college but that which he had absorbed from his father.

And [pause] it is a very difficult time for men to see their crop die. It is also gendered: although the women PR interviewed for this project had all been involved in helping to run the farm, in managing the budget, banking and accounting, the operational aspects of the farm—when to sow, what to sow, when to spray, when to harvest—were primarily the purview of men. In this they frequently carry ED the responsibility of huge debts and decisions worth hundreds of thou- sands of dollars—all this in punishing global market conditions and a sense that the Government and wider community has abandoned them.

Their responsibility is also toward the future, to maintain the health IS of their farm, especially for those whose children will inherit the prop- erty. This readiness to engage outside expertise in the running of the farm reflects one of the key changes that has occurred amongst some Mallee farmers: the readiness to see the farm as a business and not only a way of life.

Kate Wilson, an agronomist and farmer, observed that those who are now successful farmers in the Mallee have been able to make this shift, to emotionally detach from the farm. For Kate, those farmers prepared to take a calculated risk and put themselves on the edge financially are the most successful.

It's now and has Middle East changed for the better since the Arab Spring movement? No, so the author had a point here, don't you think? Nov 24, Michael Graves rated it really liked it. I found this book very insightful for understanding the turmoil that seems to be the fate of the middle east from the seventh century to the present day.

First of all, she is not anti-Muslim. So she is really standing up for an oppressed people. Well-meaning citizens of Islamic countries undoubtedly thought they were supporting democracy and freedom, but the Islamists always seem to take over.

It is quite hard for people raised and indoctrinated from childhood in Islamic lands to understand that there is or at least should be a distinction between Islam as a religion, and Islamism as a repressive dictatorial political system.

Until the people realize that Islamism is the enemy, they are doomed for endless cycles of revolution and violence. Such countries can adapt to modern democracy and freedom by deviating from strict Sharia law. They vary only in degree to which this is done, and when a country is too friendly with the West, makes peace with Israel, or denounces terrorism too loudly, it is at risk for an Islamic revolution.

For me the book provided a framework for understanding what is going on in middle eastern countries. Feb 01, David rated it it was amazing. Excellent book on political Islam. Nonie Darwish explains why the revolutions Arab Spring in the middle east are not necessarily evidence of democracy taking hold.

She answers and explains some very pertinent questions and topics that come up when discussing Islam, such as, why Islamic revolutions are doomed to fail, the rise of Islamic apostasy and the penalty of leaving, the lack of a feminist movement within Islam, but also why woman are beholden to Islam. Also the western vulnerability to Excellent book on political Islam. Also the western vulnerability to Islamic supremacism is discussed.

How the U. Nov 25, Roxanne B. Her view of the Middle East is so clouded by her hatred of Islam, it is hard to read this book at first. Then you keep reading, and you understand why she loathes it as she describes it as a sexist, hypocritical, and war-mongering belief system. She has lost almost all family ties and risks her life to speak out against Islam.

This book makes me very sad for all women born into the Middle East, regardless of their belief system. I also wonder about the validity of some of her claims. Is this all Her view of the Middle East is so clouded by her hatred of Islam, it is hard to read this book at first.

Is this all true, or is she speaking out of anger? View 2 comments. Jun 26, Mary rated it it was ok. This book had some interesting and thought provoking points to make regarding Sharia law and Islamic revolutions. But, clearly the author has an anti-Muslim agenda, having been Muslim herself before she chose to leave Islam. Much of her writing is filled with her extreme contempt and hatred for Islam.

It was difficult for me to determine what might be a fact and what was her own anger coming through. It took longer than necessary to read because I was trying to sift through the hatred and determ This book had some interesting and thought provoking points to make regarding Sharia law and Islamic revolutions.

It took longer than necessary to read because I was trying to sift through the hatred and determine what was factual. In her defence, the author has an incredible amount of references she drew on to write this book. An excellent, well researched read, from a person who has seen, suffered, and been a part of Islam. This read will open the eyes of many who are blind to the effect Shari and Islam is having on our Western World.

They are Hell bent in destroying our freedom, and way of life. By using what ever lies, vioence, murder, genocide, to accomplish there aim, to destroy us. Jul 29, Evelyn rated it really liked it. I think every American should read this book. We have so many Muslims living in our country and you never know what they might do.

We as Americans should at least know from this book how they act and how they would just as soon kill us as not. Oct 15, Craig rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book gave great insight into the Muslim mind set in the Middle East and the affect political Islam has on a culture and a government.

It was written by a former Egyptian Muslim who now lives in the United States, and she reflects on some of the ideals and ideas she was taught as a young child. Her book is filled with examples from her own past to help support many of the statements she makes. She also supports her points with verses from the Koran, and the history of Mohammed the prophet of This book gave great insight into the Muslim mind set in the Middle East and the affect political Islam has on a culture and a government.

She also supports her points with verses from the Koran, and the history of Mohammed the prophet of Allah. She puts her points into a context of how the current revolutions that occurred during the Arab spring will likely usher in a stricter form of Islam.

She states how Islam is supported and spread thanks to financing from Saudi petro dollars and if it was not for the Arabian Peninsula having such an in demand resource such as oil Islam may have died out or at least dwindled down after World War Two. One of the most interesting facts that I learnt from this book was that in in Yemen while renovating an old mosque a bunch of old manuscripts and Korans were found.

A German university was asked to help and they discovered that they came from the fourteen century and that the Koran has been altered over from the version they found.

However the findings were suppressed and swept under the rug by the Yemeni government, this is because Islam portrays itself as being unaltered and the message coming straight from god through his prophet Muhammad.

Nov 25, Liz rated it it was ok. This book was hard to get through because A the author is so unapologetically biased and B the writing was rife with jumbled run-on sentences that I had to re-read in order to glean meaning. The latter should probably be forgivable since English isn't the author's first language, but, well, that's when you get a good editor.

It did read the way someone would speak, for the most part. Anyhow, I did learn some key things about sharia law; unfortunately they seemed to be merely sprinkl 2.

Anyhow, I did learn some key things about sharia law; unfortunately they seemed to be merely sprinkled in among the repetitive mantra of the author. I get that she's bitter and she has every right to be, but this book tempts me to be intolerant and hateful. If you've only been reading about the supposedly peaceful side of Islam this book would provide some good balance.

If you're just looking for introductory knowledge on the subject as I was, however, there are probably better more organized and objective sources. Jay rated it really liked it Jul 09, Elaine rated it liked it Jun 15, Paul Medew rated it liked it Jul 08, Kate Smith rated it liked it Jan 18, Victoria Koreyasu rated it it was amazing Jul 17, Shoaib rated it did not like it Sep 07, Travis Mayer rated it liked it Nov 23, Ines rated it it was amazing Aug 19, AJ rated it it was amazing Jul 23, Michael rated it liked it Apr 11, Ellen Shettler rated it it was amazing Apr 08, Mohamed I.

Elgadi rated it liked it Feb 26, Steve rated it it was amazing Apr 13, Michelle Lawrence rated it really liked it Jun 03, Rachel rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Janet rated it it was amazing Jun 26, Alberto rated it it was ok Apr 23, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.This chapter also explores the ways individual lives can disrupt and challenge the meta-narratives of colonial and national progress, of pioneering and the frontier, at the same time as those meta-narratives shape the ways in which individuals seek to frame their life story and anticipate their future.

Her view of the Middle East is so clouded by her hatred of Islam, it is hard to read this book at first. These environmental stories of drought are also family stories of inheritance and generation, and gender. They camped beside the bush to be closer to work and were camping here when the 14 January bushfires burnt through the area.

Darwish believes that the Islamists are gaining control of the movement. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

McClelland, The Islamic Legal Council of Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa against him in , accusing him of heresy. The adoption of these new farming methods has compounded the move to industrial-scale farming.

ARLETHA from Vermont
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