Bob Carr | How politics and books shaped a life

Oct 3, 2022 | Watch

In the fifth Ramsay Lecture for 2022, former NSW Premier and Foreign Minister, and one of Australia’s most well-read public figures, and an author himself, Professor the Hon Bob Carr delivers a cogent and illuminating lecture on how politics and books have influenced and shaped his life.

In this wide-ranging address, Professor Carr, who is also the longest continuously serving Premier in NSW history, reveals his literary influences and outlines the case for ‘cultural literacy’. He discusses his favourite biographies, with special reference to US Presidents, as well as former NSW Premier William Arthur Holman and Australia’s 16th Prime Minister Ben Chifley. Professor Carr contemplates the Western canon and its relation to what is studied in schools and universities today and reflects on how we should approach figures from our past, ultimately confirming his steadfast belief that history is the most serious and urgent of the humanities.