Jul 7, 2014

Crikey list: most memorable books by politicians

Here are some of the best and worst books by Australian politicians in recent times. You be the judge on which one to demand at Christmas time ...

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

There’s been a resurgence in the hallowed tradition of politicians writing books in Australia. Here are some of the most memorable of recent times. This list is not exhaustive; feel free to add more books (and brief reviews) in the comments section online. All these authors are current or former federal MPs unless otherwise noted.

Tony Abbott (Liberal). Battlelines, written well before Abbott became PM, is an assemblage of Abbott’s thoughts and reform proposals. Has sold a respectable 20,000 copies.

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15 thoughts on “Crikey list: most memorable books by politicians

  1. John Winter

    How can you have missed out Graham Richardson’s “Whatever it Takes”? It was actually a great read

  2. zut alors

    If we don’t believe most of what they say how can we be expected to swallow what they write?

    Rudd’s book on Jasper & Abby would likely be the most factually accurate of the bunch listed. And it’s fiction.

  3. Iskandar

    Re Andrew Wilkie; his book was “Axis of Deceit”, not “Defeat”. Still surprised that a royal commission hasn’t been called to investigate how Howard and Co took this country into Iraq. Nothing to slam Labor with, I suppose.

  4. Tim

    Don’t forget Barry Cohen’s How to Become Prime Minister

    (among his other works).

  5. klewso

    Who would have thought? Lady Penelope couldn’t write a chapter without plagiarising?

    Iskander – we can only imagine what an inquiry into Iraq would uncover – not least the cost of it and what that’s done to our economy since (dwarfing Labor’s “profligacy”?); include members of this government, and their heroes including Murdoch as the Coalition of the Shilling’s very own “Comical Ally”.
    That’s why Abbott won’t touch it and Limited News won’t agitate for it. Such a use of resources would embarrass themselves more than Labor – that’s why we only have to have the ones we have at present.
    To protect their public interest.

  6. AR

    Iskandar beat me to it, CA. Very sloppy, the misnaming didn’t even make sense – how could you not have seen that?

  7. AR

    Surely Bullturn’s two tomes don’t qualify as they were written prior to his Pollification.

  8. Robert Merkel

    John Button’s “As It Happened” was a very good read. He had a keen eye and a pretty dry sense of humour. His observations about the Australian business community were illuminating then and still probably not that far off the mark.

  9. Malcolm Street

    Whitlam also wrote c1985 a book on the Whitlam govt

  10. Cathy Alexander

    Thank you Iskander. I have fixed it.

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