The American novelist Richard Yates once remarked to an interviewer that he had the misfortune of having written his best book first. He might have found an ally in Donald Horne, whose first book, The Lucky Country, is perhaps the most widely read piece of social criticism ever written by an Australian. Published in 1964, its famous and often misinterpreted title entered the Australian lexicon and outlived its creator. Its central argument – that Australia’s prosperity was the result of luck rather than good leadership – is a curse that continues to plague the nation’s unimaginative political class. The book’s success haunted the public career and legacy of its author. Though he was, among other things, a journalist, editor, social critic, novelist, academic, polemicist, and self-styled ‘public waffler’, in public memory, he remains Donald Horne, author of The Lucky Country.
Ryan Cropp reviews 'Donald Horne: Selected writings' edited by Nick Horne
Donald Horne: Selected writings
edited by Nick Horne
La Trobe University Press, $32.99 pb, 336 pp, 9781863959353
Ryan Cropp is a Sydney-based writer and historian. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney.
By this contributor
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.
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.