By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd
By David Marr (Quarterly Essay/Black Inc., $19.95, softcover, 138 pages)
Walkley Award-winning journalist and author David Marr presents a different look – at the life and career of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – that takes on an impertinent, contentious description.
This account is ground-breaking and paints an in-depth profile that traces Rudd’s years in Queensland, China, in Opposition and finally in government.
It shows the making of Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister. A formative tragedy in Eumundi, his birthplace, is investigated with the death of his father and events thereafter. Marr pursues the makeover path of a preoccupied child into a relentless, steadfast youth with a mind firm on the prime ministership.
He also makes an out-of-the-ordinary analogy. When Rudd was born in September 1957, “by the most perfect coincidence Labor lost power that week to the Country Party in Queensland. Rudd would be intimately involved in the party’s return to office 32 years later”.
Rudd’s years are also examined as Wayne Goss’s right-hand man, his unremitting work in federal Opposition and last, his record in the top job.
Rudd’s arrival in Canberra in 1998 hadn’t set caucus alight. He didn’t hide his ambitions. He was in a lonely position.
Marr fittingly points out that “Rudd has 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? … 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”.
The progressive political and social commentator makes some keen character observations. Rudd said “politics is about power”, but “in his anger Rudd becomes astonishingly eloquent”.Who is Kevin Rudd? “He’s a politician with rage at his core, impatient rage.”
What drives this astonishingly motivated man becomes clear at the conclusion of Power Trip.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.