Bonnie and clyde, the james gang, butch cassidy…america has long been fascinated with its criminal past. But legend-making in australia is a more difficult task – nearly all aussies can trace their ancestry back to outlaws, shipped from across the world for crimes as mundane as stealing pigs.
Maybe history isn’t enough in the land down under. A new novel attempts to breathe life into the legend of an australian jesse james. Ned kelly, a notorious cattle thief and sometime ruthless killer. The man who’s been called a people’s hero and “the father of australian courage.” Critics say the book paints a new south wales romance out of the life of a dirty thug – a murderer of policemen and honest australians.
How do we recall our “home on the range” and how do we put tragic memories to rest, when a country’s historical memory is at stake?
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Peter Carey, author of “True History of the Kelly Gang.”