Quarterly Essay 38 Power Trip
The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd
by David Marr
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Power Trip shows the making of Kevin Rudd, prime minister. In Eumundi, where Rudd was born, David Marr investigates the formative tragedy of his life: the death of his father and what came after. He tracks the transformation of a dreamy kid into an implacably determined youth, already set on the prime ministership. He examines Rudd’s years as Wayne Goss’s right-hand man in Queensland, his relentless work in federal Opposition – from Sunrise to AWB – and finally his record as prime minister.
In Rudd’s Queensland years, Marr finds strange patterns that will recur: a tendency to chaos, a mania for control and a strange mix of heady ambition and retreat. All through this dazzling and revelatory essay, Marr seeks to know what drives an extraordinarily driven man. As Power Trip concludes, he enters into a conversation with the prime minister in which much becomes clear.
‘Rudd had sold himself to the Australian people as a new kind of leader: a man of intellect and values out to reshape the future. If he isn’t that, people are asking, what is he? And who is he? … Millions of words have been written about him since he emerged from the Labor pack half a dozen years ago, but Rudd remains hidden in full view.’ —David Marr, Power Trip
‘David Marr is not only Australia’s essayist assoluta, he is our most fearless.’— Barry Everingham, Independent Australia
David Marr is the multi-award-winning author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic and The High Price of Heaven, and co- author with Marian Wilkinson of Dark Victory. He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Monthly, been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch. He is also the author of two bestselling biographical Quarterly Essays: Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd and Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott.
- Schwartz Publishing Pty. Ltd, June 2010
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