Six Months Off: An American Family's Australian Adventure

Lamar Alexander, Author, Pat Golbitz, Editor
Lamar Alexander, Author, Pat Golbitz, Editor William Morrow & Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07417-3
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
After completing his second term as governor of Tennessee (1978-1986), Alexander spent six months in Australia with his wife and four children. As we see from this journal, the sabbatical proved to be a refreshing, educational adventure for all. Alexander is acutely perceptive and possesses the lively sense of humor essential to a skilled storyteller. Describing the family's experiences with unfamiliar customs and awe-inspiring scenes, he makes each event personal and immediate. He also records thought-provoking conversations with Australians that dramatize differences as well as similarities between the two countries. He notes that his friends Down Under, though sometimes critical of the U.S. (Watergate, the Iran-contra affair), consider Americans more their cousins than the British: during their bicentennial this year, Australians are celebrating the Yanks who saved them in WW II. The book is full of riches, including Alexander's views on conditions in China, Russia and France, countries the family visited on the way home to Nashville. Photos not seen by PW. (September)
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