Bob Calkin was born in 1935 and grew up as Aotearoa New Zealand was entering a period of unprecedented stability and boom times. Tales from the Lucky Generation follows Bob’s rise from humble roots in working-class Whanganui to the world of law and business before a spectacular fall from grace landed him with a six-year prison sentence.
Imprisonment changed Bob from an ambitious go-getter to a thoughtful, socially conscious man intent on recovering his sense of self-worth by making a positive contribution to society. His experience of the criminal justice system brought him into contact with dozens of disaffected young men and he set about studying the social causes of the wave of crime which, according to his PhD research, exploded from around 1970. Bob’s research has never been more relevant as we continue to deal with the fallout from the resulting crime and alienation.
In the best traditions of meaningful autobiography, Tales from the Lucky Generation is also replete with useful and well-researched information about the changing political and economic environment that framed his life, and offers hope and advice for the future.