The Australian Moment
Author: George Megalogenis
'Likely to become the essential short work on modern Australia' Don Watson
'Megalogenis is Australia's best explainer … A brilliant read' Annabel Crabb
Winner of the Walkley Book Award and Australia's bestselling political book of 2012
There's no better place to be during economic turbulence than Australia. Brilliant in a bust, we've learnt to use our brains in a boom. Despite a lingering inability to acknowledge our achievements at home, the rest of the world asks: how did we get it right?
George Megalogenis, one of our most respected political and economic writers, reviews the key events since the 1970s that have forged institutional and political leadership and a canny populace. He examines how we developed from a closed economy racked by the oil shocks, toughed it out during the sometimes devastating growing pains of deregulation, and survived the Asian financial crisis, the dotcom tech wreck and the GFC to become the last developed nation standing in the 2000s. As a result, whatever happens next, we're as well positioned as any to survive the ongoing rumblings of the Great Recession.
Drawing on newly declassified documents, fresh interviews with our former prime ministers and a unique ability to bring the numbers to life, Megalogenis describes how, at just the right time, the Australian people became more farsighted than our politicians. We stopped spending before the rest of the world, and at the top of a boom voted out a government that was throwing around the biggest bribes ever offered.
The Australian Moment is packed with original insight, challenging our often partisan selective memories and revealing how our leadership and community have underestimated each other's contribution to the nation's resilience.
'This man is perhaps the sanest journalist in Australia. He believes in facts and figures. He has a unique grasp of politics in all its messy detail. The result is this splendid account of the great reforms of the last 40 years that have made Australia, he says, 'the last rich nation standing in the 21st century'.' David Marr
'Megalogenis has the rare gift of being both comprehensive and detailed. He identifies big-picture global trends and demonstrates them forensically. The Australian Moment is
him at his insightful, meticulous best. Anyone interested in Australia's political history and future, anyone who wants to understand our economic and cultural
development, has no reasonable choice but to imbibe this. It is indispensably important.' Waleed Aly