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  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761044007
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $34.99

How to Lose Friends and Influence White People

A guide through the balancing act of activist, advocate and ally, remembering that just because others are learning you don't need to be the teacher, from the dynamic and sharp co-founder of Media Diversity Australia, Antoinette Lattouf.

Poignant, inspiring, funny and most importantly authentic, How to Lose Friends and Influence White People explores how to make a difference when championing change and racial equality.
A powerful and personal guide on how to be effective, no matter who you’re trying to influence. Whether it's the racist relative sitting across the table at a family function, or the CEO blind to the institutional barriers to people of colour in the workplace, award-winning journalist and vivacious leader Antoinette Lattouf has some tips and advice on what to do.
Unlike Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, it won’t advise you not to 'criticise, condemn or complain' but instead explores the fallout when you do just that. With searing insights into the popularity contests you’ll forgo, and how to decide which races are worth running -- and crucially which simply aren’t worth time or energy.
With wit and warmth, drawing on her own experiences and some very public missteps others have taken, Antoinette Lattouf shows us that a world of allies and advocates will be a better place for all of us – you just need to learn how to make (and keep) them!

  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761044007
  • Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $34.99

About the author

Antoinette Lattouf

Antoinette Lattouf is a media personality, diversity advocate, author, mum of two girls and is terrible at reverse parking.
The multi-award-winning journalist is the co-founder of Media Diversity Australia, a not-for-profit organisation working towards increasing cultural and linguistic diversity in the media. In 2019, Antoinette was named among AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2021 she was awarded a Women’s Agenda Leadership Award and the B&T Women in Media’s Champion of Change award.
Antoinette is co-host of ‘The Briefing’, Australia's fastest-growing daily news podcast
She’s worked in television, online and radio at Network 10, SBS, ABC and triple j. She’s been a guest panellist on ABC’s Q+A, SBS’s Insight and The Feed, Sky News, and Network 10’s The Project and Studio10. Antoinette regularly writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Guardian and Mamamia.
Antoinette is also an ambassador for parent mental health organisation Gidget Foundation, after experiencing debilitating postnatal depression and anxiety herself. She now quite likes both of her children.

Praise for How to Lose Friends and Influence White People

Timely and practical, this guide for navigating the treacherous waters of anti-racism work never loses its heart or humour.

Ruby Hamad

This is arms in the air, squeal in delight reading! Anyone who’s felt the scourge of discrimination is vindicated by the home truths delivered page after page. Antoinette fearlessly uses lived experience, real time Australian examples, expert opinion & irrefutable research to deliver tools for change.

Narelda Jacobs

It’s a searing, witty, meticulously crafted manual to anti-racism, feminism, advocacy, power, relationships and individual responsibility.

Rafqa Touma, The Guardian

How to Lose Friends and Influence White People is a must-read for every Australian. Antoinette Lattouf explores structural racism from every angle using robust data, clever analogies, and a generous dollop of humour. It’s well and truly time for some critical self-reflection about “pale, stale, male … and Gayle” and “White supremacy in heels”. This book works well on several levels, offering a step-by-step guide for advocates and easy-to-understand calls to action for potential allies. True to Lattouf’s character, the book doesn’t shy away from vexed issues like lateral violence. Ultimately, the author outlines solutions to these deep-seated problems, ending on a note of optimism and hope for the future. This is a tour de force!”

Tracey Spicer

Giving an ironic twist to the self-help classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, Lattouf offers savvy and hard-earned advice on how all of us can play a part in challenging and dismantling the systems and assumptions scaffolding white privilege. Real change starts, she argues, with self-education, especially on the part of whites, and with the understanding that it “won’t always be easy or comfortable”. A valuable roadmap for venturing beyond our comfort zones, as individuals and as a society.

Fiona Capp, The Sydney Morning Herald

It's a witty, conversational book that doesnt seek to be purely didactic but to evoke empathy and ask questions around power structures in Australia, especially in an unrepresentative media.

Wenlei Ma, news.com.au

How to Lose Friends and Influence White People is a fascinating read, full of information, advice, and advocacy. It is undoubtedly eye-opening, even for those of us who see ourselves as very liberal-minded. Lattouf writes with passion, verve, charm, humour, and above all authenticity.

Tracey Korsten, Glam Adelaide

In this funny and poignant self-help book, Lattouf won’t advise you to “criticise, condemn or complain” like Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People. Instead, she explores the searing fallout into why you should not do that.


How To Lose Friends And Influence White People asserts that change and freedom has never been handed out on a silver platter — they’ve always been hard-fought for, and has a price. There are so many barriers to having vital, meaningful, and productive discussions about race — people ignore concrete facts, shut down, or refuse to face their privilege — but Lattouf’s book offers ideas on how to have these dialogues productively.

Millie Roberts, Junkee

In his 1966 classic “The Tyranny of Distance”, historian Geoffrey Blainey details what Gideon Haigh has described as a “staunch and oblivious Anglocentricity.” The White Australia policy is long gone. We live, we’re constantly told, in “the most successful multicultural nation on earth.” We desperately want to believe it. But Antoinette Lattouf argues little has changed since Blainey penned his most famous work. Power and influence in Australia are overwhelmingly held by people who are white. Indeed, she argues, there is a sliding scale of skin colour. The darker you are, the more distant you are from power and the more likely you are to suffer racism even from other “people of colour” further up the chain - the “off-whites” including Lattouf herself, who is of Lebanese heritage. Lattouf is the co-founder of Media Diversity Australia, which has the narrow but vitally important focus of pressing for newsrooms to reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. I can attest to her success in changing thinking though there is a legacy effect and still far to go. Full disclosure: in its early days I was the token white guy on the MDA’s advisory board. This book is bracing, confronting, data rich but cheerfully accessible. The arguments are real and its time is now. Beyond its obvious purpose, it is a witty guide to effective activism. Lattouf is merciless with the usual suspects in the male, pale, stale patriarchy - myself included - but hardly less so with the “prosecco-flavoured progressives” of middle class white feminism. Racism in her own Australianised Arab community also gets a searching examination. She is particularly compelling on the way that women of colour who offend the mainstream are mercilessly dealt with, forced into silence, their careers destroyed. You don’t have to agree with every argument made here to acknowledge Lattouf’s central and urgent point. As a nation, we have a way to go. We’ll be better, funnier, fairer and truer to ourselves, when we get there.

Hugh Riminton

This is a very good book for anyone interested in race, diversity, inclusion and how not to be a massive knob.

Jan Fran

This should be mandatory reading for all.

Bob Moore, Good Reading Magazine

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