Author(s): Marr David
The essential work on Tony Abbott is now an expanded, updated short book - and a crucial election-year companion. Australians want to know: what kind of man is Tony Abbott, 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. 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. Political Animal's release as a Quarterly Essay in 2012, with its revelations of 'the punch,' triggered intense scrutiny of Abbott's character, which culminated in Gillard's memorable speech accusing him of misogyny and, soon after, Abbott's worst ever public approval rating. This significantly expanded and updated short book gives the clearest picture yet of the man Abbott is and the prime minister he would be.