Book review: Gareth Evans' 'Incorrigible Optimist: A Political Memoir'

By Norman Abjorensen
Updated April 24 2018 - 10:23pm, first published December 2 2017 - 11:15pm

The political memoir, especially in Australia, can make for heavy reading: self-aggrandisement, ego-boosting, dubious justification and the settling of old scores and slights, real or imagined. But not so with the ebullient Gareth Evans, one of Australia's outstanding public figures of the modern age, whose latest book, his 12th, crackles with wit, self-deprecating humour and illuminating insights into both politics and the complexities of public policy. He has few, if any, regrets; his judgments, while acute, are generous. The title, Incorrigible Optimist, is most apposite.

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