$35.00 – Paperback / Allen & Unwin / Australia
The Godfather: The Life of Brian Burke
Once touted as a future prime minister of Australia, former WA
premier Brian Burke has had a rollercoaster political career. This
is the first major biography of this charismatic and influential
politician who even out of power and disgraced, pulls the political
strings in WA and beyond.
As premier, Brian Burke was one of the key players behind the mineral boom that became the infamous WA Inc in the 1980s. After a high profile inquiry, he was jailed for corruption in 1994 for and then again in 1997. Most men would have sought a quiet life after losing their reputation in this fashion, but Brian Burke became a ruthless behind the scenes powerbroker in WA politics, business and unions. With his capacity to deliver fundraising largesse to the ALP, his control over pre-selections, and a cadre of mafia-like devoted supporters, Brian Burke became the Godfather of WA politics. As the Corruption and Crime Commission steadily closed in on him he fled to Ireland, but his fingerprints are still all over WA politics.
Quentin Beresford tracks the rise, fall, resurrection and then collapse of the man in the Panama hat, asking what it is in Burke's personality, the nature of Labor factionalism and the WA business community that has allowed him to obtain such power and influence.
'Beresford pulls off what might have seemed an unattainable goal; shedding light on the enigma that is Brian Burke without either caricaturing him or being thrown off balance by his undoubted magnetism.' - Carmen Lawrence, former WA Premier and Federal ALP parliamentarian
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