Heroic Misadventures: Australia’s Four Decades – Full Circle


  • 08/01/2010
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The Institute of Economic Affairs invites you to attend:

An IEA Book Launch

Heroic Misadventures: Australia’s Four Decades – Full Circle , by Ron Manners

On: Friday 8th January 2010, 4.30pm – 6.00pm

(with brief remarks at 5.00pm by author Ron Manners, and

followed by drinks reception until 6.00pm)

At: 2 Lord North Street, Westminster, SW1 (door on Great Peter Street)

“An inspiring story of the power of ideas, combining a wealth of entertainment, wisdom and practical advice and an eloquent and compelling defence of individual freedom.”

Heroic Misadventures is the autobiography of a hugely versatile man who has had his share of misadventures, but who has in the end succeeded in the highly competitive and unforgiving West Australian gold-mining industry as well as in farming and many other activities.

Ron Manners, one of WA’s most successful gold-miners, has set out here to distil the essence of his past and analyze the reasons for success and failure. More than that, it is a warm human document that offers a unique insight into the life of an exceptional man.

But this book is not a dry economic text. It is filled with rich human adventure, for it is also the story of that rare thing, a genuinely daring man.

While principally known as a gold miner and more recently as a principal of the Mannkal Foundation for economic education, Ron’s activities have encompassed everything from running a hotel in Bali to organising a rock-cruise on an ocean liner to a brush with the once-notorious Nugan Hand Bank.

It is, with all this, a picture of the life of an extraordinary man, a man with a gift for converting obstacles into stepping-stones, a man who has walked with some of the greatest, who has run businesses large and small – surviving the disasters of the Whitlam years – and who in addition to his achievements in the practical world has also achieved credentials as a considerable philosopher of political economy.

The title Heroic Misadventures recalls Man of La Mancha, the musical based on Don Quixote. There is certainly something of Don Quixote about Ron – his readiness to pursue good causes, the fight for the right. But unlike Don Quixote his vision is clear-eyed and his causes well-chosen and often successful. Ron has proved that idealism and high practical intelligence may, and should, go together. To quote Michael Darby again: “The sole sad fact about Ron Manners is that there is only one of him,” though his work with the foundation for Economic Education and other initiatives for students leads one to hope that that will not be the case forever.

This book is both a warning and a tonic: much of it is a powerful buck-you-up and an antidote to depressing times. Those who do not read this book have missed something very valuable.


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