'White sets himself a most ambitious task, and he goes remarkably far to achieving his goals. Very few books tell so much about Australia, with elegance and concision, as does his' - Professor Michael Roe
'Stimulating and informative. an antidote to the cultural cringe' - Canberra Times
'To be Australian': what can that mean? Inventing Australia sets out to find the answers by tracing the images we have used to describe our land and our people - the convict hell, the workingman's paradise, the Bush legend, the 'typical' Australian from the shearer to the Bondi lifesaver, the land of opportunity, the small rich industrial country, the multicultural society.
The book argues that these images, rather than describing an especially Australian reality, grow out of assumptions about nature, race, class, democracy, sex and empire, and are 'invented' to serve the interests of particular groups.
There have been many books about Australia's national identity; this is the first to place the discussion within an historical context to explain how Australians' views of themselves change and why these views change in the way they do.
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Aborigines America AngloSaxon Anzac Australian colonies Australian culture Australian Historical Society Australian History Australian identity Australian type Australian Writers Bernard Smith bohemians Botany Bay Britain British Bulletin bush C.E.W. Bean C.M.H. Clark civilisation convict Coral Lansbury Dampier Darwin democracy digger distinctively Australian emigrant empire England English Europe F.G. Clarke Geoffrey Serle Heidelberg School Henry Lawson Historical Studies History of Australia Ibid idealised image of Australia immigrants industry intellectuals interests John John Dunmore Lang Journal Kipling labour Land of Contrarieties Legend literature London man’s Manly manufacturing Marcus Clarke Meanjin Melbourne Michael Roe middle class migrants moral national identity national type nationalist nationhood natural nineteenth century P.R. Stephensen patriotic political popular R.W. Connell race racial radical Richard Whately Royal Australian Historical seen self social South Wales thought Van Diemen’s Land Victorian Voyage Wattle wholesome women workers workingclass workingman’s paradise writers and artists young