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If you've ever used the phrase "rags to riches," you owe that to Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899), who popularized the idea through his fictional writings that also served as a theme for the way America viewed itself as a country.Alger's works about poor boys rising to better living conditions through hard work, determination, courage, honesty, and morals was popular with both adults and younger readers.
Alger's writings happened to correspond with America's Gilded Age, a time of increasing prosperity in a nation rebuilding from the Civil War.His lifelong theme of rags to riches continued to gain popularity but has gradually lessened since the 1920s. Still, readers today often come acrossRagged Dick and stories like it in school.
In the ABC 2015 Boyer Lectures, one of Australia's most influential foreign policy experts examines our country's place in the world.
For most of Australia's history, the world was run by nations like our own. But now the international order that has prevailed since the end of the Second World War is fraying. Global institutions are showing their age. Our great and powerful friends are becoming less great and powerful. Rising powers such as China are challenging the old order. Wealth and power are shifting eastwards, towards us. The tyranny of distance is being replaced by the predicament of proximity.
Award-winning historian and author Michael Fullilove argues that we must shape our international environment. This requires us to be smarter and shrewder – but also larger. Australia needs to be a big, confident, ambitious country, open to the world, with an effective political system, the instruments to influence the balance of power and the confidence to have our own head of state. Stirring, timely and important, A Larger Australia tells us it is time for Australians to think big.
The ABC Boyer Lectures is an annual series of lectures delivered by prominent Australians who are invited by the ABC Board to express their thoughts on major social, cultural, scientific or political issues. The ABC Boyer Lectures are named after the late Sir Richard Boyer, a former chairman of the ABC.
About the Author
Michael Fullilove is the executive director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney. A Rhodes Scholar and former prime-ministerial adviser, he writes widely on global issues for publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, the New York Times, the Financial Times and Foreign Affairs. His previous books include Reports from a Turbulent Decade (2013), co-edited with Anthony Bubalo, and Rendezvous with Destiny (2013), which was awarded the 2014 Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction.
This topic pack makes up a single unit of Blueprints for Middle Primary.
Australia, My Country! takes an in-depth look at what it means to be Australian, from Australian symbols, culture and language to popular films.