Most nations don’t get a first chance to prosper. Australia is on its second. For the best part of the nineteenth century, Australia was the world’s richest country, a pioneer for democracy and a magnet for migrants. Yet our last big boom was followed by a fifty-year bust as we lost our luck, our riches and our nerve, and shut our doors on the world. Now we’re back on top, in the position where history tells us we made our biggest mistakes. Can we learn from our past and cement our place as one of the world’s great nations?
Our country’s most insightful big-picture commentator, George Megalogenis crunches the numbers and weaves our history into a riveting argument, brilliantly chronicling our dialogue with the world and bringing welcome insight into the urgent question of who we are, and what we can become.
‘Megalogenis slaps history and politics and culture like mortar in and around his knowledge of economics and numbers to build compelling, even thrilling, theses about the country of his birth and where it stands in the world.’ Tony Wright, Saturday Age
‘Timely and significant … With characteristic lucidity, Megalogenis examines the connection between our collective prosperity and Australia’s tendency at different times either to embrace or resist migrants.’ James Ley, Weekend Australian