If the debate didn’t inspire you, perhaps a book will

The recent debate between the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition has been widely criticised for being dull, stilted and uninformative. At time of writing, there’s also a solid chance it will be the only head to head debate. If you’d like to know more about these men before you offer someone your vote, perhaps you might like to sample their books.

Tony Abbott’s Battlelines is a political manifesto, although he has cautioned in interviews that party policy does not always accord with his views expressed in the book. He’s had various biographies written about him, including

  • Political Animal : The Making of Tony Abbott by David Marr,
  • Tony Abbott : A Man’s Man by Susan Mitchell,
  • Trivial Pursuit : leadership and the end of the reform era by George Megalogenis, and
  • Latham and Abbott by Michael Duffy.

I’d like to single out George Megalogenis as the sort of economist who I wish was as popular as Kochie.

Kevin Rudd has written a children’s picture book (Jasper & Abby and the great Australia Day Kerfuffle) but he also has a slew of biographies and commentaries. These include:

  • Power trip : The political journey of Kevin Rudd, by David Marr.
  • Rudd’s Way : November 2007 – July 2010 by Nicholas Stuart
  • Howard’s End : The unravelling of a government by Peter van Oselen and Peter Senior
  • Dear Mr Rudd : ideas for a better Australia, edited by Robert Manne.
  • Kevin Rudd : an unauthorised political biography by Nicholas Stuart (his later book, Rudd’s Way, is possibly the better choice).
  • Kevin Rudd : the biography by Robert Macklin
  • To the bitter end : the dramatic story of the fall of John Howard and the rise of Kevin Rudd by Jim Hartcher.
  • Inside Kevin 07  : the people the plan, the prize by Christine Jackman.
  • The stalking of Julia Gillard by Kerry-Anne Walsh.

David Marr has a certain political philosophy, it’s true, but his writing is brilliant, if you like things a little caustic.

For the sake of completeness I also checked for biographies of the leaders of several smaller parties, but they have yet to be published. No photos have been offered, for the sake of impartiality, and because I couldn’t find a rights-free image of dishwater to compare the debate’s dullness to.