The making of Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott is the most successful Opposition leader of the last forty years, but he has never been popular. Now Australians want to know: what kind of man is he, and how would he perform as prime minister?
In this dramatic portrait, David Marr shows that as a young Catholic warrior at university, Abbott was already a brutally effective politician. He later led the way in defeating the republic and, as the self-proclaimed “political love child” of John Howard, rose rapidly in the Liberal Party. His reputation as a head-kicker and hard-liner made him an unlikely leader, but when the time came, his opposition to the emissions trading scheme proved decisive.
Marr shows that Abbott thrives on chaos and conflict. Part fighter and part charmer, he is deeply religious and deeply political. What happens, then, when his values clash with his need to win? This is the great puzzle of his career, but the closer he is to taking power, the more guarded he has become.
Winner, 2013 John Button Prize.
Correspondence discussing Quarterly Essay 47, Political Animal:
READ AN EXTRACT
This is no character assassination. Marr is not afraid to praise Abbott in places and respects his political skills and intelligence.
David Marr is as brilliant a biographer and journalist as this country has produced.
If you want to hit a man where it hurts, hit him in the groin. David Marr doesn’t miss in his Quarterly Essay profile.
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