Without a clear full stop there can be no certainty that the unravelling of the British Empire has ended even now.
Politics Podcast: Judith Brett on The Enigmatic Mr Deakin.
Judith Brett's biography, The Enigmatic Mr Deakin, reveals the intense inner world of one of the most important fathers of Australian federation.
Like Malcolm Turnbull, the three-time prime minister Alfred Deakin was sometimes accused of lacking substance, but he had core political commitments from which he never wavered.
Australia's Constitution is a product of foreign and domestic political influences. It has become one of the enduring aspects of Australian politics and law, for better and worse.
Alfred Deakin and his contemporaries invented the Australian prime ministership. But it was not settled as a platform for national leadership until John Curtin and Ben Chifley's time.
Alfred Deakin knew what he believed in; it helped him to believe in himself, and to survive three terms as prime minister.