In 1900 W. E. B. DuBois prophesied that the colour line would be the key problem of the twentieth-century and he later identified one of its key dynamics: the new religion of whiteness that was sweeping the world. Whereas most historians have confined their studies of race-relations to a national framework, this book studies the transnational circulation of people and ideas, racial knowledge and technologies that under-pinned the construction of self-styled white men's countries from South Africa, to North America and Australasia. Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds show how in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century these countries worked in solidarity to exclude those they defined as not-white, actions that provoked a long international struggle for racial equality. Their findings make clear the centrality of struggles around mobility and sovereignty to modern formulations of both race and human rights.
Marilyn Lake is Professor at the School of Historical and European Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne. Her publications include Creating a Nation (with Patricia Grimshaw, Ann McGrath and Marian Quartly, 1994), Getting Equal: The History of Feminism in Australia (1999) and, as editor, Women's Rights and Human Rights: International Historical Perspectives (with Patricia Grimshaw and Katie Holmes, 2001). Henry Reynolds is personal chair in History and Aboriginal Studies at the University of Tasmania. His previous publications include The Other Side of the Frontier (1981), Why Weren't We Told? (2000) and The Law of the Land (2003).
Introduction; Part I. Modern Mobilities: 1. The coming man: Chinese migration to the Goldfields; Part II. Discursive Frameworks: 2. James Bryce's America and the negro problem; 3. Charles Pearson's prophecy: 'The day will come'; 4. Theodore Roosevelt: re-asserting racial vigour; 5. Imperial brotherhood or white: Gandhi in South Africa; Part III. Transnational Solidarities: 6. White Australia points the way; 7. Defending the Pacific slope; 8. White ties across the ocean: the Pacific Tour of the US Fleet; 9. The Union of South Africa: white men reconcile; Part IV. Challenge and Consolidation: 10. International conferences: enmity and amity; 11. Japanese alienation and imperial ambition; 12. Racial equality? Paris Peace Conference, 1919; 13. 'Segregation on a Large Scale': immigration restriction, 1920s; Part V. Towards Universal Human Rights: 14. Rights without distinction.