Winner of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award, 2012 Walkley Book Award, and Australia’s bestselling political book of 2012
The book of the TV series Making Australia Great
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.
With a new afterword and appendix for the 2015 edition
‘Likely to become the essential short work on modern Australia’ Don Watson
‘Megalogenis is Australia’s best explainer … A brilliant read’ Annabel Crabb
‘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
‘Arguably the most important work on Australian economics and modern political history of our generation’ Australian Book Review
‘Probably the best exposition of Australia’s political history over the period of market liberal reform, and from the viewpoint of the reformers, that we have seen, or are likely to’ John Quiggin, Canberra Times
‘Stimulating … It is a tribute to the intellectual power of the book that it provokes the reader to consider seriously the compelling counter-argument that, instead of continuing to progress, we have in some crucial ways squandered our inheritance’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘The Australian Moment reminds us that politics really does matter because the power of government matters … George Megalogenis is no ordinary journalist’ Canberra Times
‘Lucid and flowing … One of the best communicators in Australia today’ Courier-Mail
‘Wise, considered and incisive … a lucid and penetrating portrait of Australia during the past 40 years’ Herald Sun
‘Highly recommended’ Good Reading