Kerry O’Brien, A Memoir
Walkley award winning ABC journalist, Kerry O’Brien, reflects on social and political upheavals he has witnessed and the personalities who have made history.
Born the day after the first American occupying troops landed near Tokyo in August 1945, Kerry O’Brien’s life has spanned the post-war era through the maelstrom of the nuclear and digital age-a remarkable time of intense and dynamic change that has no match in human history. He has witnessed life changing events, interviewed the great and good, and explained the intricacies of the world to millions of Australians as we sat in the comfort and safety of our lounge rooms.
Whether strolling the history-laden corridors of the White House unhindered while waiting to interview Barack Obama, or talking with Nelson Mandela on his first day in the presidential residence in Pretoria in a room filled with the blood-soaked ghosts of apartheid, or receiving a haughty rebuke from an indignantly regal Margaret Thatcher, or exploring ideas with some of the great artists, philosophers and scientists of our time, Kerry O’Brien has sought to unearth the truth behind the news. In Australia, he has watched thirteen prime ministers come and go and has called the powerful to account without fear or favour.
In this intimate ground-breaking account told with wit and insight O’Brien reflects on the big events, the lessons learned and lessons ignored, along with the foibles and strengths of public figures who construct our world. The end result is a memoir like no other – an engrossing study of a private life lived in the public eye and wrapped in nearly three-quarters of a century of social and political history.
The life of one of Australia’s most intriguing public figures, former Prime Minister Paul Keating, as told to the country’s most influential political interviewer, Kerry O’Brien. This long awaited collaboration is a biography unlike any other.
Paul Keating is widely credited as the chief architect of the most significant period of political and economic reform since Federation. Twenty years on there is still no autobiography or memoir, yet he is the supreme story- teller of politics.
This book of revelations fills the gaps. Kerry O’Brien, the consummate interviewer who knew all the players and lived the history, has spent many long hours with Keating, teasing out the stories, testing the memories and the assertions. What emerges is a treasure trove of anecdotes, insights, reflections and occasional admissions from one of the most loved and hated political leaders we have known.
This is as good as it gets-funny, sweeping, angry, imaginative, mischievous, with arrogance, a glimmer of humility and more than a touch of creative madness. Keating unplugged.
‘…fantastically readable account of and by the man who made us as we are and will be.’
– Guy Rundle
‘…a masterclass in how to do politics.’
– Laurie Oakes
‘PJK still puts on the best show in town.’
– Alex Mitchell
‘There is so much political wisdom stored in these pages.’
– Frank Bongiorno
And the last word to the man himself. ‘We all get carried out in the end, Kerry. The big question is what sort of a trail can you blaze, and with what sort of elan.’
– Paul Keating