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

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

Born to Rule?

by Paddy Manning

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

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.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Paul Williams is a Senior Lecturer in politics and journalism at Griffith University’s School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences. He is a weekly columnist with Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper and a frequent media commentator on Queensland politics. He has published widely on voter behaviour and political leadership.

Published in March 2019, no. 409

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.