This is the story of the struggle by a small group of people who sought to defend the life that belongs to a continent. The name they gave that struggle was conservation. The conservation movement has battled indifference and hostility throughout its history. Government and developers treat Australia as a quarry, and yet the movement has won some great victories and secured the preservation of some of the world's most pristine landscapes. But much has also been lost. Powerful and provocative, Patriots travels through the history and politics of Australia's conservation movement, and describes a new national identity – an identity deeply enmeshed in nature, an identification with the land that non-Indigenous Australia has lacked.