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Shirley Smith: An Examined Life

Shirley Smith: An Examined Life (Paperback)

By Gaitanos, Sarah

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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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ISBN 9781776562176
Published NZ 9 May 2019
Publisher Victoria University Press
Format Paperback
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781776562176
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks
Publisher Victoria University Press
Imprint Victoria University Press
Published 9 May 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
NZ, Maori & Pasifika
New Zealand & Related
Number of Pages 464
Dimensions Width: 152mm
Height: 235mm
Dewey Code 993.03092
Weight Not specified - defaults to 600g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Women lawyers - Biography - New Zealand, Lawyers - Biography - New Zealand
NBS Text Biography: Historical, Political & Military
ONIX Text General/trade