In the tradition of his bestselling 'Curtin' and 'Chifley', this is David Day's exhaustive biography of one of our most fascinating prime ministers. Paul Keating was one of the most significant political figures of the late twentieth century, first as Treasurer for eight years and then Prime Minister for five years. Although he has spent all of his adult life in the public eye, Keating has eschewed the idea of publishing his memoirs and has discouraged biographers from writing about his life. Undaunted, David Day has taken on the task of giving Keating the biography that he deserves. Based on extensive research in libraries and archives, interviews with Keating's former colleagues and associates, and walking the tracks of Keating's life, Day has painted the first complete portrait of Paul Keating, covering both the public and private man.
Via careful research and many interviews with Keating himself and those who knew him, Day tells the story of Keating from his childhood, through his glory years as federal treasurer and the Prime Minister and into his continuing role as political and social commentator. Some little known facts emerge along the way… I did not know that Keating arrived in parliament in 1969 courtesy of a well organised branch stack! While Day generally paints Keating in a favourable light, he does not ignore the serious character flaws that ultimately lead to his downfall at the hands of John Howard in 1996.
If you enjoy revisiting the dramas of Australian political life during a period of massive reform in the 19980s and 1990s, and have an admiration (grudging or not) for this political giant, you will be enthralled by this book.