Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path to Power

Faction Man Bill Shorten s Path to Power The top job is within Bill Shorten s grasp But who is he How did he rise to become Labor leader And does he have what it takes to beat Malcolm Turnbull and lead the country In this dramatic essay Dav

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  • Title: Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path to Power
  • Author: David Marr
  • ISBN: 9781925203387
  • Page: 400
  • Format: ebook
  • The top job is within Bill Shorten s grasp But who is he How did he rise to become Labor leader And does he have what it takes to beat Malcolm Turnbull and lead the country In this dramatic essay, David Marr traces the hidden career of a Labor warrior He shows how a brilliant recruiter and formidable campaigner mastered first the unions and then the party Marr presThe top job is within Bill Shorten s grasp But who is he How did he rise to become Labor leader And does he have what it takes to beat Malcolm Turnbull and lead the country In this dramatic essay, David Marr traces the hidden career of a Labor warrior He shows how a brilliant recruiter and formidable campaigner mastered first the unions and then the party Marr presents a man willing to deal with his enemies and shift his allegiances, whose ambition to lead has been fixed since childhood But does he stand for anything Is Shorten a defender of Labor values in today s Australia or a shape shifter, driven entirely by politics How does the union world he comes from shape the prime minister he might be Marr reveals a man we hardly know a virtuoso with numbers and a strategist of skill who Labor hopes will return the party to power Shorten is now vulnerable than ever to the fundamental charge the Coalition levels against him that this is the man who brought down two prime ministers and lied about it on radio It s going to be dirty At the heart of the contest will be Shorten s character All the way to polling day, Australians will be invited to rake over every detail of his short life and hidden career David Marr, Faction Man David Marr is as brilliant a biographer and journalist as this country has produced Peter Craven, Spectator Taken in sum, the fifty nine Quarterly Essays published since 2001 offer perhaps the deepest analysis of the meandering political path we ve traversed from the turn of the current century CityMag Adelaide David Marr is the multi award winning author of Patrick White A Life, Panic and The High Price of Heaven, and co author with Marian Wilkinson of Dark Victory He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Monthly, been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV s Media Watch He is also the author of five bestselling biographical Quarterly Essays.
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    157 Comment

    • Loki says:

      Not Marr's best work (it lacks the animating rage of "The Prince", for example), but perhaps this rather dry telling is fitting to the man. Bill Shorten is something of a cipher to most Australians (myself included), and reading this book is more like discovering that the jigsaw has even more pieces than what it's a picture of. It's a good look at where Shorten's from, but it fails to give a good idea of where he's going to. (To be fair, this may be as much due to Shorten himself, given his tend [...]

    • D.A.Calf says:

      Easily the driest of Marr's five Quarterly Essays, Faction Man struggles with a poor subject. If you already think Shorten is boring, dull, hollow and mysteriously disingenuous this essay will do nothing to dispel those thoughts. The main takeaways are: 1) How depressing is factional interplay ?2) Who would want to be a politician in Australia in the modern age ?3) I still don't know what Bill Shorten believes in and now I even wonder if he knows. If David Marr can't tease out an answer maybe it [...]

    • Warren Gossett says:

      This is an intriguing book by the dogged David Marr. Bill Shorten, Australian Labor Party leader is the opposition, is portrayed as a politician who wants to be liked and is willing to talk your head off. He may yet be prime minister but will he dare to find the best solutions for Australia or will poll driven choices preserve the reigning mediocrity?

    • Phil Devereux says:

      This was pretty dry, for which Shorten is most definitely to blame, not Marr. Still, it gives some insight into Shorten's history and what exactly he wants for this country, which is apparently the inspiring goal of maintaining the status quo.

    • Jillwilson says:

      Julia’s arse, Joan’s polka dot dress, Bill’s suit – what is it about the sartorial style (or lack of) on the part of Labor Party leaders that so gets people going? I did however warm to this essay about two pages in when Marr wrote: ”Shorten’s body is not made for suits. His baggy frame sits on skinny legs. At factory gates in the old days he wore chambray shirts and bomber jackets. There’s something about the new uniform of coat and tie that suggests a plugger dressed for court. [...]

    • Timothy Dymond says:

      Will the 'curse of Quarterly Essay' now hit Bill Shorten just as it hit Malcolm Turnbull (when he was opposition leader), Kevin Rudd and (belatedly) Tony Abbott? Once the Quarterly has published a profile of you - start looking over your shoulder!David Marr's essay is competent but unspectacular compared to his previous biographical efforts. It also has a slightly rushed quality of a bunch of drafts and notes thrown together. One section is just a list of Bill's not very interesting nicknames fr [...]

    • Ross says:

      David Marr again provides a compelling essay which gives tremendous insight into the character of Bill Shorten.I will admit, that prior to reading this QE I was unconvinced that Shorten was the correct man to lead Labor. In my view, he has been mostly uncharismatic and constantly vacillated between positions depending on the the way the political wind was blowing. I wasn't aware of his earlier career, and Marr does highlight his exceptional skills in negotiating and as a orator in the union move [...]

    • Christopher Dean says:

      As always, David Marr is an interesting and insightful writer, but the overall effect of the essay on me is that it is as unexciting as its subject. Not even David Marr can figure out Bill Shorten, and perhaps Bill Shorten has the same difficulty.The main message that I took away from Marr's essay is that Shorten has risen to the top far too fast. While Shorten did have some impact bringing to the fore the plight of the disability sector, he has not yet had sufficient time to develop an overall [...]

    • AlanMarr says:

      It was bad timing to release this essay only a few weeks before Tony Abbot was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull for it was robbed of a great deal of its context.Despite that this is a riveting account of Shorten's ascent to the leadership of the ALP and what he did to get there - some of it admirable some not.I wanted to read this because I knew nothing very little about him. Now I know more but am even less certain what I think about him.David Marr is an excellent writer and offers a clear dispassi [...]

    • Jake says:

      I always enjoy David Marr's writing and listened this as an audiobook narrated by the author.Much of what Marr cover's of Shorten's life can be found elsewhere, but this was a great collation of those stories of his life in one place complete with analysis of some of Shorten's motivations throughout his career going back to his days in student politics. If you want to understand Shorten, this is a pretty good place to start.

    • Todd Winther says:

      David Marr tries to psychoanalyse Bill Shorten, and basically says he wants to be liked (Don't we all?), and he's a ruthless deal maker. Barely insightful. Shorten's thoroughly white bread public persona and lack of real policy achievement or expertise stand in stark contrast to his role in the Machiavellian removals of two Prime Minsters. Such a shame more wasn't done with this material.

    • Benjamin Farr says:

      I found this book to be an average read about Bill Shorten. Although a short, and not intended to be a lengthy biographical account of his life, I found I was left wanting more when I finished this book. Much preferred Annabel Crabb’s account of Malcolm Turnbull - not because of political alliances or voting intentions - but simply because it was a better read.

    • Grace says:

      I thought David Marr did a good job with this essay, but I find Bill Shorten too boring to be truly engaged in this story unfortunately. I did enjoy the anecdote from Shaun Micallef about Bill's Zingers.

    • S'hi says:

      worth considering what it takes to sort through the "mine"-field of political maneouvring.

    • Elinor Hurst says:

      Fairly dull, like the subject.

    • John says:

      InsightfulBill Shorten's beginnings aren't that popularly known I believe so it was nice to go into them

    • Corey Zerna says:

      i was hoping for something a bit juicier like the Rudd & Abbott exposès, but even David's brilliant writing couldnt make Bill Shortbread interesting

    • Matt Harris says:

      Not the best of Marr's political portraits, possibly due to the character analysed. Can't see Bill Shorten getting up in the next election, unless he comes well out of his safe shell.

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