When The Lucky Country was published in 1964, its cover – Albert Tucker's painting of a hat-wearing, stony-faced, beer-swilling Aussie gambler – captured its essence. Donald Horne's interrogation of Australia was a powerful critique of a nation marked by cultural and political conservatism and economic insularity. His conclusion opened with the much-quoted sentence, 'Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share in its luck.' It balanced both the sense of Australia's material capacity and wealth of opportunities, and of its accidental good fortune at not having been brought low by its leaders' incompetence. The book aimed to catalyse a national debate to challenge these elements, and it largely succeeded.
Peter Christoff reviews 'The Lucky Country? Reinventing Australia' by Ian Lowe
The Lucky Country? Reinventing Australia
by Ian Lowe
University of Queensland Press, $29.95 pb, 240 pp, 9780702253676
If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.
Peter Christoff teaches in the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. He has published extensively on environmental and climate policy and politics, and his latest books include Globalization and the Environment (2013), with Robyn Eckersley, and Four Degrees of Global Warming: Australia in a hot world (2013). Peter formerly was the Victorian Assistant Commissioner for the Environment, and served on the Victorian Premier's Advisory Group on Climate Change and as a Board member of the Australian Conservation Foundation.
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.