A Nation At Last?: The changing character of Australian nationalism 1880–1988
Angus and Robertson, $24.95 pb, 408 pp
The dilemma for confessedly nationalist intellectuals has always been what to do about their strange bed-fellows, the scoundrels who have sought a last refuge under the same patriotic blanket. Generally they have distanced themselves with glib distinctions between good and bad nationalisms, left and right nationalisms, radical and conservative and larrikin and respectable nationalisms. Often, too, they looked back – radicals to the 1890s, conservatives to the Great War – and contrasted an idealised past nationalism with contemporary selfishness. How often does discussion of Australian nationalism not get past the 1890s?