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UNSW Press UNSW Press

Political Lives

Australian prime ministers and their biographers

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Political Lives is an intimate history of image-making and image-breaking in national politics.

In 2011, Chris Wallace was writing a biography of Julia Gillard. After seeing the unparalleled onslaught from the Abbott opposition, she cancelled her contract and repaid her advance with the awareness of how hard the biography could hit. Political Lives is a result of that fraught experience. In it Wallace reflects on the roles and motives of biographers and their biographies in the 20th century.

To discover who wrote biographies, and why, Wallace interviewed every living 20th century prime minister and their biographer, from Menzies to Hawke, Whitlam to Keating. The result is an intimate history of Australian national politics.

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