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Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation

Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation 3

New Updated Edition

by Paul Kelly

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 22/10/2014

5/5 Rating 3 Reviews
RRP  $34.99 $26.25

Featuring a new introduction in response to Julia Gillard's memoir, this revised edition brings Paul Kelly's masterpiece on the Rudd–Gillard years up to the present.

Drawing on more than sixty on-the-record interviews with all the major players, Triumph and Demise is full of remarkable disclosures. It is the inside account of the hopes, achievements and bitter failures of the Labor Government from 2007 to 2013. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard came together to defeat John Howard, formed a brilliant partnership and raised the hopes of the nation. Yet they fell into tension and then hostility under the pressures of politics and policy.

Veteran journalist Paul Kelly probes the dynamics of the Rudd-Gillard partnership and dissects what tore them apart. He tells the full story of Julia Gillard's tragedy as our first female prime minister—her character, Rudd's destabilisation, the carbon tax saga and how Gillard was finally pulled down on the eve of the 2013 election. Kelly documents the most misunderstood event in these years the rise of Tony Abbott and the reason for his success.

It was Abbott's performance that denied Rudd and Gillard the chance to recover. Labor misjudged Abbott and paid the price.

Kelly writes with a keen eye and fearless determination. His central theme is that Australian politics has entered a crisis of the system that, unless corrected, will diminish the lives of all Australians.

Politics & government
Paperback / softback
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1st Edition
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Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly was born in Adelaide, one of nine children, in 1955. He wrote his first song in 1976 and has been making records since 1978, over thirty to date. He has collaborated with many other songwriters and written music for film and theatre. His prose has appeared in Meanjin, The Monthly, Rolling Stone and The Age and in 2010 he published a 'mongrel memoir', How to Make Gravy. His most recent album is 2019's Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (3 Ratings)
5 stars (3)
4 stars (1)
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2 stars (0)
1 stars (0)
  • Insightful and brillant

    by on

    A fantastic, forensic account of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years, and the rise of Abbott. Brilliant and unbiased, with lots of detail. This is the gold standard. Read it!

  • Pick of the political books for 2014

    by on

    Our pick of the political biographies and commentaries this year. Triumph and Demise features some phenomenal disclosures from the past few years, Kelly's latest novel paints a candid picture of the current political landscape.

  • Triumph and Demise

    by on

    An extraordinarily balanced account, insofar as balance is called for. Of course, when describing a train crash in slow motion, as was the entire Rudd experiment (parts 1 and 2), glowing words of praise and commendation are understandably rare. Kelly validates his views and conclusions with interview accounts from players speaking counter to interest. Previous works by Kelly have resembled dense reference material but the structure and flow of this book (and of course the dramatic material) have the pages turning far more quickly. Kelly also proposes the current political system is broken and unable to advance the national interest, in part due to the slavery to short-term messaging brought about by the 24-hour media cycle. He does not go so far as to propose this as a cause of the "wooden" or "robotic" leadership we have seen on both sides since Howard, but he leaves the reader well equipped to draw a conclusion such as this. Hard to imagine the period could be better captured in print.