Author(s): Troy Bramston
"Drawing on extensive interviews with Keating, coupled with access to his personal files, this book tells the story of a political warrior's rise to power, from the outer suburbs of Sydney through Young Labor and into parliament at just 25 years of age, serving as a minister in the last days of the Whitlam government; his path-breaking term as treasurer in the 1980s; his four-year prime ministership from 1991 to 1996; and his passions and interests since. Bramston has interviewed around 75 people who know and worked with Keating closely, including parliamentary colleagues, advisers, party officials, union leaders, public servants, and journalists. This includes interviews with Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, John Howard, Doug Anthony, Bill Hayden, Andrew Peacock, Ian Sinclair, John Hewson, Alexander Downer, Peter Costello, Kim Beazley, Simon Crean, and Bob Carr.Bramston has secured access to the Labor Party's archives, and also documents key debates in once-secret cabinet papers, reveals caucus minutes for the first time, draws on the unpublished diaries of Bob Carr, discloses meeting records from the archives of US presidents George H W Bush and Bill Clinton, talks to former British prime minister Tony Blair, and shares his new discoveries from the personal files of Whitlam, Hayden, Hawke, and Howard. Keating saw political leadership as the combination of courage and imagination, a belief that powered his public career and helps explain his extraordinary triumphs and crushing lows. Keating blazed a trail of reform with a vision for Australia's future that still attracts ardent admirers and the staunchest critics. This book chronicles, analyses, and interprets Keating's life, and draws lessons for a Labor Party and a country still reluctant to embrace his legacy."
"Troy Bramston has worked as a policy and political adviser in government, opposition, and the private sector. He is a former principal speechwriter for Kevin Rudd and an adviser to the Rudd government. Bramston now works as a columnist and leader writer with The Australian newspaper, and as a political commentator on Sky News. Bramston is the editor of a forthcoming collection, For the True Believers: great Labor speeches, editor of The Wran Era (2006), and co-editor of The Hawke Government: a critical retrospective (2003). His feature articles, opinion pieces, and book reviews have been widely published in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. He has been a member of the Labor Party for nearly 20 years, and is a former president of New South Wales Young Labor and a past secretary of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Fabian Society. Bramston has an economics degree with honours from the University of Sydney, and a master's degree in politics and international relations from the University of New South Wales. In 2001, he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the governor-general for his services towards the Centenary of Federation commemorations. He lives in Sydney and has two children, Madison and Angus."