Political Animal

David Marr

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Political Animal

Political Animal 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 pri

  • Title: Political Animal
  • Author: David Marr
  • ISBN: 9781863955980
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 theThe 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 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 Since witnessing the Hewson catastrophe at first hand, Abbott has worn a mask He has grown and changed Life and politics have taught him a great deal But how this has shaped the fundamental Abbott is carefully obscured What has been abandoned What is merely hidden on the road to power What makes people so uneasy about Abbott is the sense that he is biding his time, that there is a very hard operator somewhere behind that mask, waiting for power David Marr, Political Animal It s a fair minded and generous assessment than many people, perhaps myself included, had expected We have very different perspectives on the world but, to his credit, to some extent David Marr was able to step outside the standard leftist critique and appreciate that here was a nuanced and complex character than perhaps many of the standard left leaning critics would concede Having said all of that, I certainly don t think all of his judgments were fair and I don t think all of his interpretations were correct Tony Abbott

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    One thought on “Political Animal

    1. Rob on said:

      Excellant essay by David Marr. He does not seek to torpedo Abbott. This is no way a polemic. It is a measured and reasoned piece of journalism on a divisive political figure who has spent half his life baiting any progressive forces particularly woman and gay rights activists.Abbott takes his Catholicism seriously and Marr takes him at his word. Marr makes the links between the university politics of the noisy far right Catholic NCC and Abbott's politics. The quixotic defending of unpopular cons [...]

    2. Angela Elizabeth on said:

      A brilliant, balanced argument that tries to expose the real Tony Abbott. Marr pulls few cheap shots, his research is exceptional and he doesn't bow to pressure to give a character assassination. Instead, he tries to understand how Abbott functions, both as a politician and a human being. This is not a hatchet job by any stretch. I may not agree with many of Abbott's views and policies, but I feel like I understand them better. Marr has also corrects a number of misplaced assumptions I, and many [...]

    3. Christopher Dean on said:

      In "Political Animal", David Marr excels as a long-form reporter.Contrary to some of the negative opinions expressed by some Good Readers, I found this piece to be very well balanced. So much of what passes for reportage these days is uninformed opinion or unsubstantiated facts and half truths, and so it was with pleasure to see that most of the events depicted in the Essay are fully sourced and footnoted at the end of the document. This, of course, is an important part of the format of the Quar [...]

    4. Lyn Elliott on said:

      Tony Abbott is likely to become Australia's next prime minister when the next Federal election is held later this year. Marr's extended essay on Abbott is lively, well researched and a welcome reminder of what good journalism can be.In his days as a right wing student activist, Abbott fought for values consistent with his Catholic faith and his first political mentor, Bob Santamaria, a major force on the right of Australian politics in the decades after World War II. The tactics he used then wer [...]

    5. James Purkis Purkis on said:

      Another brilliant political biography by David Marr. Like his infamous piece on Kevin Rudd, he is able to remind the reader of what we knew but had forgotten while exposing new truths along the way. His discussion of Values Abbott and Political Abbott should worry the Coalition because Marr has pin pointed the very fears that keep voters from giving Abbott the popularity to ensure victory at the next election. Moreover, he exposes the contradiction at the heart of Abbott: a conviction politician [...]

    6. Anni on said:

      Charismatic? Likeable? As true to journalistic impartiality as David Marr's writing presents, I can now substantiate why this man, who we now must call our prime minister, gets under my skin. Whether Values Abbott or Politics Abbott we are and always will be poles apart in our thinking, motivation and vision for Australia and the world. A cringeing yet informative read.

    7. Matt John on said:

      David Marr’s book has been expanded from the Quarterly Essay of the same name from which it is based. Marr paints a rather disturbing picture of the man who wants to be the next Prime Minister of Australia. From Abbott’s early days at university where he took opposition against the homosexuals and women’s rights (including the now infamous incidents of losing his temper) to his more recent history as member of the Howard government and the current opposition leader. Marr relies on many who [...]

    8. Avril on said:

      Interesting. And concerning. As a Christian who believes that people of faith can take their faith into politics, I am not as automatically opposed to 'Values' Tony Abbott as Marr is. But I am saddened that the Catholic values that Abbott is wedded to are the conservative ones we hear from Archbishop Pell, rather than those of Catholic Social Teaching. Of course anyone who follows the Vatican line will oppose the full equality of GLBT people, but at the very least shouldn't we also get some conc [...]

    9. Sean Kennedy on said:

      This should be compulsory reading for every Australian. If Abbott wins the next election we're all screwed. The shenanigans of the recently elected Queensland government will pale in comparison.The sad fact is, however, that this essay will probably only be preaching to the converted and not reaching those it really needs to influence.

    10. Blartibartfast on said:

      My opinion of Rhodes Scholars is greatly diminished after reading Marr's essay.

    11. Linda on said:

      This is a book that is essential reading for every Australian today. This man may be our next prime minister.

    12. Maggie Emmett on said:

      I think David Marr is a great researcher and tries very hard to be be fair and balanced in his approach in this book. He tells Tony Abbott's story in an easily comprehensible and capable manner, leaving plenty of space for the reader to draw their own conclusions. The two Tony's is a neat way to try and present the two versions of the man Marr shows us. It reminds us, of course , of the questions re the REAL Julia.Having read this first, followed by several articles in The Age and several review [...]

    13. Tim G on said:

      Perhaps I'm one of the few reviewers to read this book from a conservative viewpoint. I didn't really warm to David Marr's writing style to begin with but he definitely has an agenda here. It seems he's trying to say look at this see the man's a monster, but I actually only really came away with an understanding that David Marr has an axe to grind. I guess many of us thought the world was black and white when we were at university - and passions boiled? How things have changed since then! It's p [...]

    14. Kate on said:

      An interesting insight into the Australian leader of the opposition. I didn't really enjoy the construction of this essay. I would have enjoyed the read more if it had been set out in a more linear way, as events took place. At times I found it a little difficult to follow, but the overall insight into the man, Tony Abbott was enlightening and worrisome. I must admit, I have never really been a fan of the guy, but was interested to read this account to learn more about him and his motivations as [...]

    15. Kathy Fogarty on said:

      I think I hoped for a psychological explanation of Abbott's character. I guess I'm left with the impression that he was idolised within his own family - destined for Pope or Prime Minister according to his mother. Being ordinary was never an option. He was brutal and bigoted at university and his values went out the window if there was ever a clash between politics and values, particularly in his ministerial years. He seems to have taken on all the conservatism of Catholicism and left behind the [...]

    16. Andrew Saul on said:

      Don't believe any of the tripe that has been printed about this essay. David Marr is fair and balanced in his background to Tony Abbott as you would expect of a journalist of his calibre. Abbott is neither the monster nor saint he is variously portrayed as. I went into this book not being a fan of his (Abbott) and I came away liking him more than I did. But most importantly I felt I understood him more than I previously had. Like it or otherwise he is now our PM, so it pays to understand the man [...]

    17. Matt Harris on said:

      Interesting account of the man who "would be" if he could be.Beautifully written, illustrative of the path Tony Abbott took to the Opposition leader - how Santamaria and Howard indelibly shaped him, as well as the Church.And how he has learned to be more subtle projecting his views and morals in among his policy or politics.If this is to be the next PM of Australia, it behooves us to get to know him. It will be the Howard years part 2, that's for certain.

    18. Mark Glidden on said:

      Remarkably, this concise overview of Tony Abbott's political career is quite fair. Whilst there is, in certain areas, a distinct leftist bias, "Political Animal" doesn't seek to condemn Abbott as an outdated relic (as does the vile "Tony Abbott: A Man's Man") but nor does it laud him as a statesman extraordinaire.

    19. Grace Sunflower on said:

      Dripping with eloquence and wit. Marr's brilliantly entertaining essay exposes how such an unpopular politician has managed to become the Leader of the Opposition via employing two ignoble strategies. Firstly, consistently employing bullying tactics and, secondly, concealing his true beliefs, so as not to alarm voters.

    20. Alex Rogers on said:

      I tried to get into this, but I'll have to leave the date completed out, as I never got close to finishing it. I realised only a few pages in that my antipathy to Tony Abbott is so strong that I'm going to make myself angry every time I read this - so I'd much rather not. Goodbye Tony - I'd far rather never read anything about you again.

    21. Emilyberkenstein on said:

      The most frustrating thing about Marr's essay is that he does not reveal the things Tony Abbott said to him since it was all 'off record'. Whilst this essay does add some limited new information to the public record, it doesn't fundamentally change the public understanding of Tony Abbott.One wonders if Tony Abbott said anything of interest at all when interviewed.Competently written.

    22. Benjamin Farr on said:

      Excellent analysis of Tony Abbott. I read this long after Tony Abbott won the Prime Ministership, and the words of David Marr almost read as a prophecy. Although this book was written prior to Tony Abbott becoming Australia's Prime Minister, I highly recommend this book and encourage all to read - especially those interested in the man behind the mask. I hope David Marr writes a follow-up book.

    23. Liam on said:

      Makes for a revealing read on the verge of the Australian Election. Most likely the political fate of the nation rests in his hands. Just what this will mean for Australia and Tony Abbott himself remains to be seen. In the result of unprecedented power and support of the people, Political Abbott vs Values Abbott remains an internal battle to unfold.

    24. Alan on said:

      Brilliant! Such a great insight into Tony Abbott, his values and beliefs. I feel like I have a much better understanding of what makes him tick and why he does what he does. David Marr's writing is crystal clear, amusing, and compelling.

    25. Avril on said:

      Deeply disturbing; I find myself hoping that the 'bleak reassurance' David Marr describes in the final chapter might be right: 'Everybody says he's going to be absolutely terrible and the end of the world but he can't be that bad. He can't possibly be like that.'

    26. Tom on said:

      If the purpose of this piece is profiling Tony Abbott, then it is as good as any piece of extended journalism Australians can write. Once you read it, you would say I don't get the guy (to misquote an old slogan for fish sauce) — and I think that is the point: he doesn't get himself either.

    27. Katherine on said:

      This a longer version of David Marr's essay about Tony Abbott. I found this a well researched book which was interesting to read. It helped flesh out the man behind the headlines in what appeared to be a well balanced way.

    28. Mariah Drakoulis on said:

      My first Quarterly Essay. Surprisingly engaging. An excellent and provocative essay by David Marr.

    29. Michael on said:

      In the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election, David Marr's essay on the ideology and politicking of Tony Abbott is a must read. Marr's short-and-sharp writing pulls no punches here.

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