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.
James Walter reviews 'Incorrigible Optimist: A political memoir' by Gareth Evans
Incorrigible Optimist: A political memoir
by Gareth Evans
Melbourne University Press, $49.99 hb, 415 pp, 9780522866445
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James Walter is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Monash University, and has published widely on leadership, biography, and political ideas. Volume two of his history of the Australian prime ministership (with Paul Strangio and Paul ‘t Hart),The pivot of power: The Australian prime ministership 1950 –2016 (Miegunyah Press), was published in 2017.
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