Australian civilization is described in this book with subtlety and irony as a "wildly problematic, discursive and sometimes cranky thing. It can be a sensitive thing. It can still be chauvinistic." The book brings together leading intellectuals who discuss the various dynamics of civilization in the Australian context. They debate openly and honestly the strengths and weaknesses of Australian civilization. The contributors each narrate Australian civilization from monographic viewpoints. Together these monographic views narrate the central concerns of this volume. The production of a master narrative is resisted. But it is equally obvious that in the diversity of approaches--the pluralism of the monographic views--there are recurring important themes. This timely book is concerned with the tremendous changes that have overtaken Australia in the second half of this century. It demonstrates that many time-honored beliefs have been broken up, but argues that this intensely creative period has seen Australia transformed from a provincial inward-looking society with blinkered conceptions of history and self-importance to one of the world's oldest and most successful liberal plural democracies.