Paul Keating: The Biography
Fourth Estate, $49.95 hb, 573 pp, 9780732284251
Paul Keating has an enduring allure. He has been out of politics since 1996, yet in the past year or so we have seen the ABC screen an unprecedented series of four one-hour interviews with him by an unusually respectful Kerry O’Brien; a book of his sayings still sells well, his speeches and pronouncements receive wide publicity, and now historian David Day has given us a new biography.
On my count, this is the sixth biography or hagiography of Keating. It complements two collections of speeches, two books of quotations, and dozens of other books in which Keating is a central figure, most recently, Gareth Evans’s Cabinet diary of 1985–86, which was a salutary reminder that the Hawke government included many other ministers carrying out important reforms.