Australians now officially have the best living conditions in the world. Our country is both fair and free - and the only developed nation to have avoided a recession in the past twenty years. So how did it happen and why don't we care? In The Sweet Spot Peter Hartcher takes readers on a vastly entertaining and thought-provoking tour through Australian politics and history. He shows how a convict colony could have become a banana republic but didn't, how Australia came through the global financial crisis - it wasn't just the mining boom - and how we could now throw our success away if we don't recognise our strengths and demand true leadership of our politicians. Hartcher argues that Australia's prosperity was not built on dumb luck. In a time when the authoritarian success story of China is strong, Australia offers a better model: a democratic success story. Is it perfect? Of course not. But on some of the most important and apparently intractable problems of the modern world, Australia, believe it or not, is as good as it gets. And the beaches aren't bad either.