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'The Lucky Country' author dies, aged 83 -

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(generated from captions) of what you might describe as most top people in Australia, specifically in the sentence that Australia is a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck.

He gave the country the sense of well-being that it had in the late Menzies years

before the economic troubles of the mid-70s hit so he gave a phrase that stuck. Donald Horne was born in the NSW Hunter Valley in 1921.

After studying at Sydney University, he forged a career in journalism before taking up a post at the University of NSW in 1973 but the publication of 'The Lucky Country' in 1964 that made Donald Horne Australia's most well-known public intellectual and got Australians thinking about themselves.

I seemed to be able to put into it all kinds of new ideas and new approaches that were already in the heads of many people,

but I kind of crystallised for them. 23 more books would follow, including his reaction to the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975 called 'The Death of the Lucky Country'. In this, Donald Horne laid out his vision for an Australian republic. I would like to get rid of governor-general. I believe we should elect our own head of state and my new book 'The Death of the Lucky Country', I've been celebrating the end of many of the characteristics of the lucky country that I didn't like.

Professor Horne had many critics, including those who believed he was obsessed with the dismissal of the Whitlam Government. There are more interesting in-depth subtle and psychological factors involved in the events of the last election particularly in the psyche of the Australian people

which requires much more analysis than deep laid plots and hatchings and wicked Fraser and inadequacy of the Australian Labor Party and the greatness of Whitlam. But Donald Horne was never one to be put off and he continued writing into his eighties. Three years ago he published an Australian compact which attacked the Howard Government's role in the Tampa affair and urged Australians to look at their core values. He kept on writing and thinking and giving a sense of what citizenship in Australia could mean, what republicanism could mean, what it meant for someone of high intelligence to not, as it were, go back to university or go into university and remain there but to keep in contact with a vibrant intelligent reading public and he did that for so many years that he made himself a really important figure. Donald Horne died in his Sydney home this morning after a long illness.

Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline. And that's all for this evening. Maxine McKew will be with you tomorrow night, so please join her then. Goodnight. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.