PDF Recollections Of A Bleeding Heart 10th Anniversary Edition

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Award-winning and best-selling biography of Paul Keating with new content

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A great insight into the workings of political parties on both sides of the fence in Canberra. Some aha moments where your suspicions are confirmed, some hilarious anecdotes but above all else a unique perspective from someone who should know - one of Paul Keatings' own speech writers.

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So well written and honest in its subject matter as to be shocking at times. Occassionaly tedious to one who does not move in those circles, as the author drones on a bit with too much detail. But the wit is there and it is hard to get Max Gilles out of your head. One person found this helpful.

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Being a big fan of Keatings style and policy ideas, I was eagerly looking forward to this book. It started off somewhat slowly, with what seemed to be a page philosophical exposition of the art of speechwriting. Boring, and not what I bought the book for. However I decided to soldier on, expecting things to improve.

However this was not to be the case, and I decided to bin the book a few pages further on. Well the author boasts that he was responsible for recruiting one Anne Summers to the PM's office. For those who don't know, Ms Summers is the leading exponent of loony-fringe feminism ratbaggery in Australia. If I was the author, I wouldn't be boasting about exposing another human being to this creature.


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At this point, I decided that the author and book were beyond redemption. This is a keeper. It is an insightful, well written, articulate, compassionate, critical and thought provoking work of political art. It is better than any other I have read in this political landscape.

Don Watson's betrayal of confidences apparently incensed Paul Keating, and, reading between the lines of this tome, it is not hard to see why. Too often, the focus is on Don Watson, his thoughts and reflections, his self-amplified contributions and achievements, rather than a document of the life and times of Paul Keating, prime minister and prime mover.

As a recorder of events, Watson makes a reasonable journalist, but when he strays into the territory of psychoanalysing Keating, and offering alleged insights into the workings of his mind and soul, he oversteps the mark completely. That he would even attempt to do so is an insult to his former boss. He is a minnow passing judgement on a whale. Via the privilege of his close employment association, he seeks to elevate himself and his role, akin to the tell-all publications of former members of the royal household - "butler reveals palace scandals".

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The only saving grace of the book is that its subject is so fascinating. If you could edit out the bits where Watson pontificates about the "whys" of Keating, you would be left with a fairly detailed recounting of who did what, when and how. From his account, it seems that Watson, the speechwriter, increasingly came to regard himself as a backroom political player, rather than a mere wordsmith to the PM.

These delusions of grandeur are jarring at times. The specks of the fly on the wall paint a distorted picture.

Don Watson

Incidentally, for someone who has subsequently made a nice little earner out of dreary, repetitive, cut-and-paste books about the woefulness of contemporary mis-communication, cliche and jargon, Watson's own style is an odd combination of the gonzo journalist where the writer's subjective experiences are apparently all that matter and the pompous historian seeking his place in posterity, complete with sprinkled literary allusions and a grab-bag of high-falutin' quotations to begin each chapter.

Famously, Paul Keating could spot a phoney from four miles off, and in fog - hopefully, astute readers too will be able to sort the wheat from the chaff in this book. See all 5 reviews. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book?

Recollections of a Bleeding Heart Quotes

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Reflections on Recollections of a Bleeding Heart by Don Watson - Penguin Books Australia

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