Born to Rule? by Paddy Manning

Reviewed by
March 2019, no. 409
Paul Williams reviews 'Born to Rule?' by Paddy Manning

Born to Rule?

by Paddy Manning

Melbourne University Publishing, $34.99 pb, 503 pp, 9780522870787

Born to Rule? by Paddy Manning

Reviewed by
March 2019, no. 409

Future generations of readers will invariably look back in awe at the second decade of twenty-first-century Australian politics for its ridiculous revolving door of prime ministers. Personal and journalistic accounts of this rare instability – Australia had six prime ministers between 2010 and 2018 – have certainly proved a publishing bonanza. Defeated prime ministers publish memoirs as rapidly as journalists and commentators write their chronicles.

Journalist Paddy Manning’s first edition of Born to Rule – written during Tony Abbott’s failing prime ministership and released just weeks after Malcolm Turnbull’s accession in late 2015 – is clearly one of the better accounts. Given that no one from outside the parliament (except perhaps Bob Hawke) had been (for years) more frequently labelled a prime minister-in-waiting than Malcolm Turnbull, the release of a balanced portrait of the brilliant but seemingly irascible Turnbull was perfectly timed with Abbott’s exit.

Paul Williams reviews 'Born to Rule?' by Paddy Manning

Born to Rule?

by Paddy Manning

Melbourne University Publishing, $34.99 pb, 503 pp, 9780522870787

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