Donald Horne

Donald Horne

Donald Horne AO (1921–2005) was one of Australia’s most significant public intellectuals of the twentieth century. Mostly remembered for his skewering of Australian post-war complacency in The Lucky Country (1964), Horne was an editor at The ObserverThe Bulletin (where he removed ‘Australia for the White Man’ from the banner), and Quadrant. He took up a research fellowship in political science at the University of New South Wales, where he would retire as an Emeritus Professor. His contribution to Australian cultural and academic life continued with appointments as Chairman of the Australia Council (1985–1990) and Chancellor of the University of Canberra (1992–1995).

'The Cult of Fiction' by Donald Horne

October 1995, no. 175 01 October 1995
I’ve told this story before, but perhaps I might give it one last run ... There I was at a NSW Premier’s Literary Award dinner, giving the annual address and I wanted to say, in passing, that much verse and most fiction, like most of anything else, are more likely to be products of imitation than of imagination. On the other hand, essays, history, philosophy, prose sketches, social, political ... (read more)

Michael Cathcart reviews 'Portrait of an Optimist' by Donald Horne

December 1988, no. 107 01 December 1988
Michael Cathcart reviews 'Portrait of an Optimist' by Donald Horne
Donald Horne, pleasantly surprised that he is now a university professor, looks back at the journalist and aspiring novelist that he was in the 1950s. This is to be the third (and final) instalment in the saga of the education of Donald. Shortly after the book opens, Donald sets off from Australia on a voyage to England, with his English-born wife, Ethel. On the ship he is a party-goer and maker ... (read more)

The Public Intellectual

July 1996, no. 182 01 July 1996
What is the role of the Public Intellectual?   Donald Horne: critics and negotiators The general idea of ‘public intellectual life’ is more useful than the particular idea of’ the public intellectual’. ‘Public intellectual life’ is a public manifestation of what I called in The Public Culture ‘the critics’ culture’ of a liberal-democratic state. (It is made possible by t ... (read more)