By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Tony Abbott: A Manís Man
By Susan Mitchell (Scribe, $32.95, softcover, 197 pages)
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is portrayed as the “most dangerous man” ever to seek the office of prime minister.
Academic and writer Susan Mitchell says there was a “simple” reason why she wrote this volume after having published 14 books documenting and analysing the lives of Australian women who had made important and valuable contributions to the nation, including a 2007 biography of Margaret Whitlam.
“Of all the men who have held or sought to hold the office of prime minister, I believe he is the most dangerous,” Dr Mitchell states.
Her overall image of Abbott – the man – is one of being “pugnacious, aggressive and arrogant”, with his values and beliefs said to have been “created and nurtured by men from another era – men whose ideas are rooted in the past”.
According to Mitchell, “Julia (Gillard) is everything he despises”, listing the fact the Prime Minister is in a de facto relationship, childless, atheist and a feminist.
As the political leader, Abbott has turned politics into war, arguing that “his policies are subject to constant slipping and sliding, according to the politics of the situation; he blows where the political wind takes him”.
Dr Mitchell says the book is not a biography, but contains passionate argument that’s backed by an abundance of information including speeches, media reports and insights from Abbott’s 2009 manifesto, Battlelines. No interview is said to have taken place.
In Tony Abbott: A Man’s Man, the author attempts to trace Abbott’s life from boyhood, his training as a Catholic priest, into right-wing student activism, as a Liberal staffer and entry into parliament.
What motivates his ambition to lead Australia in the 21st century?
The fact that Tony Abbott came within a “whisker” of becoming prime minister in 2010 calls for Australians to take a closer look “behind his inflated rhetoric and his clever media manipulation…”
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.