Mungo MacCallum investigates political leadership in Australia, past and present. This is a characteristically barbed and perceptive look at the challenges facing the Rudd government and Australia. MacCallum argues that the things we used to rely on are not there anymore. On the Right, the blind faith in markets has recently collapsed. The Left lost its guiding light with the demise of the socialist dream.
In entertaining fashion, MacCallum shows how Australia's history has been one of great illusions: endless pastures, endless gold, a new Britannia, and more. But while our past big visions seem to have come undone, we need a new one more than ever. This essay is both a report card on the Rudd government and a broader meditation on leadership in a time of major change and challenge. What do we want from our leaders at such a time? Why is Rudd doing so well in the polls? What does he know about Australia that his opponents don't?
Mungo MacCallum profiles Kevin Reed, who has been twice elected as the Prime Minister of Australia, the first time in the country's history since 1949. MacCallum attempts to understand Reed's political success through a discussion of Australian myths such as "the Lucky Country", showcasing how Reed has adeptly utilized them to his political advantage while navigating a turbulent economic climate. MacCallum's arguments are persuasive, and his casually informative style is often punctuated with a wry wit, like that of a wildly popular campus lecturer. His performance turns Australian Story: Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country into an entertaining, illuminating discussion.
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