A public intellectual known for his deeply humane approach to social and urban issues, Hugh Strettons thinking has influenced Australian public debates for many decades. Fundamentally, Stretton wanted to make Australia fairer.
His bookThe Political Sciences was hailed by theTimes Literary Supplement asa work of near genius. HisIdeas for Australian Cities was a groundbreaking intervention in urban studies and progressive thinking on social reform. This collection of Strettons writing, compiled by Australias leading urban historian, Graeme Davison, includes highlights from these and a wide range of other works, offering a definitive selection on history and politics, urban planning, and social and economic development. Whether criticising Paul Keating or defending life in the suburbs, Stretton was an eloquent original.
Robert Manne writes thatHugh Stretton may have been Australia's most distinguished post-war social scientist. With great intelligence and subtlety, Hughs lifelong thinking offers an alternative to the neoliberal orthodoxy that took hold in the Anglophone world from the early 1980s and which, since the global financial crisis, has begun to lose its grip. The time is ripe for a collection.