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Politics
The Good Fight: Six years, Two Prime Ministers and Staring Down the Great Recession

The Good Fight: Six years, Two Prime Ministers and Staring Down the Great Recession

Wayne Swan

$35.00

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A highly personal account of the Rudd and Gillard governments from the heart of the Cabinet and the real story of how Australia avoided the Great Recession from the man recognised as the best treasurer in the world.

'One of the most impressive economic policies I have seen, ever.' - Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate

'Wayne Swan's judgment and decisiveness, in international terms, must rank a high distinction.' - Paul Keating

Despite the divisions within the Labor Party as the Rudd government fell into disunity and as Julia Gillard was undermined by disloyalty from within, Wayne Swan steered the Australian economy through a time of unprecedented international economic challenges.

He tells how he nurtured an economy that was the envy of the world, standing up to an opposition and a business elite who fought fiercely against Labor's political agenda. In the face of bitter attacks by vested interests - from the miners and big polluters to the sections of the media - much important nation changing legislation was wrangled through the parliament.

This is a story that can only be told from the inside. It provides unique access to the decision making of a government whose legacy of economic management and social change is still to be fully recognised.

In 2011 Wayne Swan was named Euromoney Finance Minister of the Year. He was federal Treasurer from 2007 to 2013 and has been the member for Lilley since 1993. He is the author Postcode: the Splintering of a Nation (2005), and the much read and hugely influential essay '0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests'.
Hockey: Not Your Average Joe

Hockey: Not Your Average Joe

Madonna King

$32.95

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Will this man be Australia's next Prime Minister?

The son of an immigrant and a Bondi beauty queen, Joe Hockey is one of Australia's most popular politicians with one of the nation's toughest jobs. So, how did he get there? And can he deliver? While thousands of viewers have watched Hockey's approachable persona each week on Channel 7's Sunrise, there is a lot more to the Australian Treasurer who decided to have radical stomach surgery to improve his health. Was it a decision inspired by a promise he made to his young children or was it his ambition to compete with 'action man' leader Tony Abbott?

Hockey has held senior ministerial positions in the Howard government and now presides over some of the most controversial financial decisions of the decade. He is in the media daily - from controversial bailout plans for Qantas and SPC to speculation about his first budget. Madonna King's authorised biography explores the man behind the politician and the influences that have shaped his life.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews, as well as full access to Joe Hockey, his family and friends, King provides an exclusive and unparalleled insight into the man who is already a household name and will play a pivotal role in our nation's future.

Hockey: Not Your Average Joe by Madonna King at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
The Fights of My Life

The Fights of My Life

Greg Combet

$32.99

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Greg Combet has been central to some of the biggest public struggles of our time - on the waterfront, the collapse of an airline, compensation for asbestos victims, the campaign against unfair workplace laws and then climate change.

From an idyllic childhood on the Minchinbury estate in the western suburbs of Sydney, Combet's world changed dramatically with the early death of his wine-maker father. The shy child was uprooted to the suburbs and an uncertain future. A scholarship allowed him to study engineering and saw him appreciate first hand the role of unions in the workplace.He rose to lead the Australian trade union movement and become a senior minister in the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments.

Along the way he has battled his own struggles, with political ideology, the impact of work on families and the loneliness of the parliamentary life. His story is not just a personal memoir; it is an insight into how power works in Australia, who holds it, how it is used and the ruthless ways in which it is snatched.  The Fights of My Life is the story of a man who faces up to the power structures of politics, big business and the media.

His latest target is the labour movement, arguing that the Labor Party and the trade unions must democratise to engage the next generation of activists to fight the good fight: to achieve a more fair and just Australia.

The Fights of My Life by Greg Combet at Abbey's Bookshop 131 York Street, Sydney
Optimism: Reflections on a Life of Action

Optimism: Reflections on a Life of Action

Bob Brown

$39.95

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Bob Brown, former Senator and Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, is one of Australia's most thoughtful and recognised public figures.

Since his retirement from public life in 2012, Bob has had time to consider the things that are truly important. One is the power of human thought to influence change and this book, the first time that Bob has spoken about his life since retirement, illustrates through his stories why he remains optimistic about the future.

Optimism reflects on the simple things, the moments that are meaningful, and the big questions that have concerned Bob Brown. It is a powerful read as well as a meditation on the great and the small. Inspirational, compassionate and outraged, Bob's stories are rich with metaphor, entertaining and full of warmth. His stories reveal a complex man with a quick wit, a passion for activism and a joy for life.
Inside the Hawke Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary

Inside the Hawke Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary

Gareth Evans

$49.99

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As good as it gets in Australian politics. That's how the Hawke-Keating Government is now widely regarded. But how did this highly able, ambitious, strong-willed group work through its crises and rivalries, and achieve what it did?

Gareth Evans's diary, written in the mid-1980s and published now for the first time, is the consummate insider's account. It not only adds much new material to the historical record, but is perceptive, sharp and unvarnished in its judgments, lucidly written, and often highly entertaining.
Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation

Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation

Paul Kelly

$49.99

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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.
The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the Media and Team Rudd Brought Down the Prime Minister

The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the Media and Team Rudd Brought Down the Prime Minister

Kerry-Anne Walsh

$22.99

When Julia Gillard took the reins of the Australian Labor Party on 24 June 2010 she did so with the goodwill of most of her party and a fawning Canberra press gallery. But when she announced in February 2011 that her government would introduce a carbon pricing scheme, Kevin Rudd and his small team of malcontents were already in lock-step with key Canberra and interstate journalists in a drive to push her out of the prime ministerial chair. Never has a prime minister been so assiduously stalked. Cast as a political liar and policy charlatan, Julia Gillard was also mercilessly and relentlessly lampooned for her hair, clothes, accent, her arse, even the way she walks and talks. This is the story about one of the most extraordinary episodes in recent Australian political history. It focuses on Team Rudd and the media's treatment of its slow-death campaign of destabilisation, with its disastrous effect on Gillard and the government's functioning. It is about a politician who was never given a fair go; not in the media, not by Rudd, not by some in her own caucus.
TED #1: The Terrorist's Son - A Story of Choice

TED #1: The Terrorist's Son - A Story of Choice

Zak Ebrahim

$11.99

What is it like to grow up with a terrorist in your home? Zak Ebrahim was only seven years old when, on November 5th, 1990, his father El-Sayed Nosair shot and killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League. While in prison, Nosair helped plan the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In one of his infamous video messages, Osama bin Laden urged the world to Remember El-Sayed Nosair. In The Terrorist's Son, Ebrahim dispels the myth that terrorism is a foregone conclusion for people trained to hate. Based on his own remarkable journey, he shows that hate is always a choice-and so is tolerance. Though Ebrahim was subjected to a violent, intolerant ideology throughout his childhood, he did not become radicalised. Terrorist groups tap into certain vulnerabilities that are usually circumstantial: poverty, oppression, disenfranchisement, lack of resources and options. Ebrahim shows how those same vulnerabilities can create great strengths, leading people to form great reserves of empathy and tolerance. He believes that, because we all have a deep capacity for empathy, humans have the choice - and can find the will - to reject negative ideology.
On Message: Political Communications of Australian Prime Ministers 1901 - 2014

On Message: Political Communications of Australian Prime Ministers 1901 - 2014

Julian Fitter

$24.95

From Barton's black bag stuffed full of Prime Ministerial correspondence through to the golden age of newsprint, the growth of radio, the invention of television and the rise of the Internet and the iPad. Though the consumers have been early adopters of new communications technology our governments have remained cautious to implement this evolving technology quickly. PMs have been contentious in their control and legislation for the roll out of first newspapers and magazines, then wireless, radio, television, pay television and finally the Internet. On Message: Political Communications of Australian Prime Ministers 1901 - 2014 examines all 28 Australian Prime Ministers.
Obama Power

Obama Power

Jeffrey C. Alexander ,  Bernadette N. Jaworsky

$35.95

What is the source of Obama's power? How is it that, after suffering a humiliating defeat in the 2010 mid-term elections, Obama was able to turn the situation around, deftly outmaneuvering his opponent and achieving a decisive victory in the November 2012 presidential election? In this short and brilliant book, Jeffrey Alexander and Bernadette Jaworsky argue that neither money nor demography can explain this dramatic turnaround. What made it possible, they show, was cultural reconstruction. Realizing he had failed to provide a compelling narrative of his power, the President began forging a new salvation story. It portrayed the Republican austerity budget as a sop to the wealthy, and Obama as a courageous hero fighting for plain folks against the rich. The reinvigorated cultural performance pushed the Tea Party off the political stage in 2011, and Mitt Romney became fodder for the script in 2012. Democrats painted their Republican opponent as a backward-looking elitist, a Bain-capitalist whose election would threaten the civil solidarity upon which democracy depends. Real world events can spoil even the most effective script. Obama faced monthly unemployment numbers, the daunting Bin Laden raid, three live debates, and Hurricane Sandy. The clumsiness of his opponent and his own good fortune helped the President, but it was the poise and felicity of his improvisations that allowed him to succeed a second time. Converting events into plot points, the President demonstrated the flair for the dramatic that has made him one of the most effective politicians of modern times. While persuasively explaining Obama's success, this book also demonstrates a fundamental but rarely appreciated truth about political power in modern democratic societies - namely, that winning power and holding on to it have as much to do with the ability to use symbols effectively and tell good stories as anything else.
The Republicans: A History of the Grand Old Party

The Republicans: A History of the Grand Old Party

Lewis L. Gould

$29.95

The Republicans is a revised and updated edition of Lewis L. Gould's 2003 history of the Republican party. The book retains the features that made the first edition a success-a fast-paced account of Republican fortunes, a deep knowledge of the evolution of national political history, and an acute feel for the interplay of personalities and ideology. All the main players in the Republican story are captured in penetrating sketches and deft analysis. Gould brings to life such forgotten Republican leaders as James G. Blaine, Mark Hanna, Wendell Willkie, and Robert A. Taft. He also does full justice to such contemporary figures as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and John McCain. The Republicans contains a new chapter on the George W. Bush presidency, the election of 2008, and the response of the Grand Old Party to Barack Obama. Gould argues that the historic Republican skepticism about the legitimacy of the Democratic party has shaped American politics since the Civil War. In his view, that persistent flaw in the relations between the two parties has led the nation to the current crisis of stalemate and partisan bitterness. The Republicans won praise for its even-handed, incisive analysis of Republican history a decade ago. Gould's extension of the story through 2008 makes The Republicans an even more useful volume for students and general readers alike. No other account of Republican history is as up-to-date, crammed with fascinating information, and ready to serve as an informed guide to today's partisan warfare. Political junkies and readers seeking the best first book on Republican history will find what they are looking for in Gould's comprehensive volume.
           
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