Paul Strangio reviews 'Follow the leader: Democracy and the rise of the strongman (Quarterly Essay 71)' by Laura Tingle

Paul Strangio reviews 'Follow the leader: Democracy and the rise of the strongman (Quarterly Essay 71)' by Laura Tingle

Follow the leader: Democracy and the rise of the strongman (Quarterly Essay 71)

by Laura Tingle

Black Inc., $22.99 pb, 139 pp, 9781760640705

As chief political correspondent for the ABC’s 7.30, Laura Tingle was a ringside commentator of the latest knockout bout of leadership pugilism in Canberra. Calling the crazed week-long events in the Liberal Party that climaxed in Malcolm Turnbull’s removal from office in August, Tingle probably felt mildly manic herself at the prospect of last-minute revisions to Follow the Leader, her third Quarterly Essay, to take account of yet another prime-ministerial felling. But Turnbull’s deposal only made her subject more compelling – Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, back to Rudd, Tony Abbott, Turnbull, and, for now at least, Scott Morrison. Why has national leadership become so confounding and insecure?

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Published in November 2018, no. 406
Paul Strangio

Paul Strangio

Paul Strangio is an associate professor of politics at Monash University. He is the author and editor of many books on Australian political history. His most recent publications are The Pivot of Power: Australian prime ministers and political leadership, 1949–2016 (Melbourne University Press, 2017) and Settling the Office: The Australian Prime Ministership from Federation to reconstruction (Miegunyah Press, 2016), both written with Paul ‘t Hart and James Walter.