$29.99 – Paperback / Melbourne University Press / Australia
Tales from the Political Trenches
At the 2007 federal election former journalist Maxine McKew won a spectacular victory against John Howard and wrote herself into Australian political history as only the second candidate to have ever defeated a sitting prime minister in his constituency seat. She was part of the Kevin '07 juggernaut, which dismissed the Howard Government after eleven years of power. She believed in the ideas and aspirations of their leader, Kevin Rudd. But then his own party brought him, as a first term Prime Minister, down.
Maxine McKew's untold story combines a personal tale of change, as well as an up-close account of one of the most tumultuous periods in modern Australian politics. She counters the prevailing orthodoxy that Julia Gillard was a reluctant conscript to the prime ministership a deputy who was forced to move against a chaotic and dysfunctional Rudd and offers a different version of events.
In Tales from the Political Trenches, Maxine brings a reporter's eye and an insider's knowledge to a story that has caused despair among Labor supporters and produced mass disillusionment among the voting public. McKew was one of the many political casualties of the disastrous 2010 election campaign, when Labor was left clinging to the wreckage and forced into minority government.
Still dealing with her own disappointments in a political career cut short by the machinations within her own party, and with more questions than answers, McKew has spent the past year going back to her colleagues in an effort to understand what went wrong. Tales from the Political Trenches is a must-read for those who have followed the fratricidal events of the past few years and are still asking 'what the hell happened?'
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