The Education of Young Donald Trilogy: Including Confessions of a New Boy and Portrait of an Optimist (Paperback)

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A compelling insight into the making of one of Australia’s foremost public intellectuals. A classic of Australian literature, The Education of Young Donald Trilogy combines Donald Horne’s three autobiographies—The Education of Young Donald (1967), Confessions of a New Boy (1985) and Portrait of an Optimist (1988)—in one volume. With a keen intellect, sharp wit, and dry humour, Horne vividly describes his formative years as he moves between different millieux, from an idyllic rural childhood to the excitement of university, experience as a Second World War serviceman, life in post-war England, and the rough and tumble world of old-school journalism. With a foreword by novelist Tracy Sorensen and a new introduction by Julia Horne and Nick Horne, The Education of Young Donald Trilogy is a revealing and instructive tale from the author of The Lucky Country and an absorbing account of Australian social and intellectual life from the 1920s to the 1950s.

About the Author

Julia Horne is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Sydney and university historian. She has published widely on Australian cultural and social history. Nick Horne is a Sydney taxi driver and editor of Donald Horne: Selected Writings (2017). Donald Horne (1921–2005) was an Australian writer. He worked in journalism, starting as a reporter for The Daily Telegraph and going on to edit the intellectual periodical The Observer and The Bulletin. He was an academic in the school of political science at the UNSW from 1973-1986. He wrote two dozen books including The Lucky Country, The Story of the Australian People, Death of the Lucky Country, The Great Museum, and 10 steps to a more tolerant Australia.

Praise For…

‘… a superb book.’ —Peter Coleman, The Australian

‘I commend it to you quite fiercely.’ —Max Harris, The Australian


‘… an exhilarating inquiry into the sources and quality of the facts and ideas that made him …’ —H.G. Kippax, Sydney Morning Herald


‘… a master of the autobiography-as-an-art form’ —Denis O’Brien, The Australian


‘In some ways, his personality embodied the Australia into which he was born in 1921: hard edged, wry-humoured, industrious and pragmatic. In a country with a deeply ingrained anti-intellectual tradition … Horne was a feisty advocate for the virtues of intellectual life.’ —Mark McKenna, The Australian


‘Australia had made him and he was concerned to remake Australia … it was his country and as such it had no right to be boring or provincial or mediocre.’ —Owen Harries, Speech at Horne Memorial


‘Donald Horne is Australia’s special gift to the world …’ —Kenneth Hudson, Art Monthly


‘His three-volume autobiography is one of the major literary achievements of twentieth century Australia …’ —Meaghan Morris, Gleebooks Gleaner

Product Details
ISBN: 9781742237299
ISBN-10: 1742237290
Publisher: NewSouth
Publication Date: February 4th, 2022
Pages: 816
Language: English