Incorrigible Optimist: A political memoir
Melbourne University Press, $49.99 hb, 415 pp, 9780522866445
Gareth Evans is one of the more interesting figures from the Hawke–Keating governments, not alone as a high achiever in a talented team, nor in the tenacity that saw him remain so long in the inner circle, but unusual in forging a cosmopolitan career of such substance thereafter. His political memoir demonstrates the continuity of his principal concerns – identified in the thematic chapter headings of his book – from his earliest exposure to student politics through his success as foreign minister (1988–96) to stewardship of the International Crisis Group (and many other international panels and commissions besides). It is a story spiced with both the idealism and megalomania that he concludes drive productive political engagement.