To Constitute a Nation: A Cultural History of Australia's Constitution

Overview

This imaginative and resonant book looks at the constitution as a cultural artifact. Irving looks beyond the well-known events, places and figures to locate federation and the constitution in the context of broader social, political and cultural changes. Despite its paradoxical construction, there is something uniquely Australian about the constitution, and it marked a utopian moment as the old century gave way to the new. Irving analyzes the background and outcomes of the recent Constitutional Convention and ...

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Overview

This imaginative and resonant book looks at the constitution as a cultural artifact. Irving looks beyond the well-known events, places and figures to locate federation and the constitution in the context of broader social, political and cultural changes. Despite its paradoxical construction, there is something uniquely Australian about the constitution, and it marked a utopian moment as the old century gave way to the new. Irving analyzes the background and outcomes of the recent Constitutional Convention and considers its significance for Australia's future. A new chapter covers the development of the constitution in the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book brings out the voices of minorities and women and the flavor of the times." Choice

"This is a challenging and suggestive book. The analysis is intelligent and imaginative, the prose elegant and engaging." Bruce Scates, American Historical Review

"This is a wise and thoughtful book about a much explored process and its resulting document, and it is a tribute to her historical acumen that Irving is so persuasive in her interpretation." Pacific Affairs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521668972
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/13/1999
  • Series: Studies in Australian History Series
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 257
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Chronology; Introduction; 1. Colonial nuptials; 2. The imaginary nation; 3. Imagined Constitutions; 4. Models for a nation; 5. Things properly federal; 6. White Australians; 7. Australian natives; 8. The people; 9. Citizens; 10. Half the nation; 11. The federal compact; Postscript.

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