, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 319-321
Date: 17 Nov 2012

Jeannine Purdy (ed): …Just One Damn Thing After Another: Colonialism, Economics, the Law and Resistance in Western Australia

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Jeannine Purdy’s ‘…just one damn thing after another: Colonialism, Economics, the Law and Resistance in Western Australia’ is a valuable intervention in Western Australian historical discourse and an important resource in Australian and postcolonial studies more broadly. The book diverts from Western academic conventions in that it neither mounts an argument, nor offers an easily comprehensible narrative. Instead, it documents a chronology that, as Purdy puts it, indicates ‘an underlying pattern of relationships, which, although not necessarily ‘named’ or (currently) explicable in terms of causation, are nonetheless worthy of serious engagement’ (3). The book simply documents ‘one damn thing after another’, and it is then overwhelmingly up to the reader to draw the links between colonialism, economics, the law and resistance in Western Australia. Purdy motions towards such links in the introduction, the postscript and of course the sub-title of the book, but does not articulate them in ...