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Shirley Smith: An Examined Life

Shirley Smith: An Examined Life
  

Shirley Smith was one of the most remarkable New Zealanders of the 20th century, a woman whose lifelong commitment to social justice, legal reform, gender equality and community service left a profound legacy.

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ISBN 9781776562176
Release Date 9 May 2019 by Victoria University Press
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Gaitanos, Sarah
Availability Available for pre-order, ships once released

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781776562176
ISBN-10 1776562178
Stock Release date is 9 May 2019
Status Available for pre-order, ships once released
Publisher Victoria University Press
Imprint Victoria University Press
Release Date 9 May 2019
International Publication Date 11 April 2019
Publication Country New Zealand New Zealand
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Gaitanos, Sarah
Category Biography & Autobiography: Historical, Political & Military
Political Ideologies
English law: gender law
Family, Home & Self Help
NZ, Maori & Pasifika
New Zealand & Related
Number of Pages Not specified
Dimensions Not specified
Weight Not specified - defaults to 600g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text Biography: Historical, Political & Military
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 993.03092
Catalogue Code 972235

Description of this Book

Shirley Smith was one of the most remarkable New Zealanders of the 20th century, a woman whose lifelong commitment to social justice, legal reform, gender equality and community service left a profound legacy. She was born in Wellington in1916. While her childhood was clouded by loss - her mother died when she was three months old and her beloved father, lawyer and later Supreme Court Judge David Smith, served overseas during the war - she had a privileged upbringing. She studied classics at Oxford University, where she threw herself into social, cultural and political activities. Despite contracting TB and spending months in a Swiss clinic, she graduated with a good Second and an intellectual and moral education that would guide her through the rest of her life. She returned to New Zealand when war broke out, and taught classics at Victoria and Auckland University Colleges, before marrying eminent economist and public servant Dr W.B. Sutch in 1944, and giving birth to a daughter in 1945. She kept her surname - unusual at the time - and poured her energy into issues of human rights and social causes. She qualified as a lawyer at the age of 40, and in her career of 40 years broke down many barriers, her relationship with the Mongrel Mob epitomising her role as a champion of the marginalised and vulnerable. In 1974, Bill Sutch was arrested and charged with espionage. After a sensational trial he was acquitted by a jury, but the question of his guilt has never been settled in the court of public opinion. Shirley had reached her own political turning point in 1956, with Khrushchev's revelations about Stalin and the Hungarian crisis, but she remained loyal to her husband, and the ongoing controversy weighed heavily on her later years. Shirley Smith: An Examined Life tells the story of a remarkably warm and generous woman, one with a rare gift for frankness, an implacable sense of principle, and a personality of complexity and formidable energy. Her life was shaped by some of the most turbulent currents of the 20th century, and she in turn helped shape her country for the better.

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Author's Bio

Sarah Gaitanos is the author of The Violinist: Clare Galambos Winter, Holocaust Survivor; Nola Millar: A Theatrical Life; and with Alan Bollard, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the bestseller Crisis: One Central Bank Governor and the Global Financial Collapse. Sarah is an independent writer, researcher and oral historian.

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