About Jacquie

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Jacqueline Kent is… a writer of non-fiction and biography, fiction, general articles and literary journalism. Her working background includes radio interviewing, print journalism, radio and TV scriptwriting, editing books, ghostwriting, teaching editing and creative writing, and arts administration.
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Biography Newsletter

Biography Footnotes, no 4, 2009

Book Review: Jacqueline Kent, The Making of Julia Gillard, Penguin/Viking, 2009,

328pp, $32.95.

Many people want to know about Julia Gillard, undoubtedly the most powerful woman in Australian Federal politics today – what makes her tick and how she came to be such a star parliamentary performer.

The Making of Julia Gillard, gives us an insight into what has made this formidable politician. But we get very little about her personal life, how she operates and keeps up with her personal workload of three key portfolios, Industrial Relations, Education and Social Inclusion.

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The Australian

Gillard’s grasp on the political domain

The Making Of Julia Gillard By Jacqueline Kent Viking, 320pp, $32.95

TRADITIONALLY, political biographies come at the end of a career, although there are always exceptions. Two biographies of then opposition leader Kevin Rudd appeared in the months before the 2007 election, as Australians rushed to find out about the man who might be PM. And now we have the first of two biographies of Julia Gillard – the other, by journalist Christine Wallace is due next year – a mid-career politician, whose greatest triumphs (and defeats) are likely yet to come.

On the first page of The Making of Julia Gillard, Jacqueline Kent justifies her choice of subject, arguing that in a country where distrust of politicians is almost an article of faith, Gillard is a political celebrity. She is also Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion and an impressive parliamentary and media performer.

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The Drum Unleashed

A different kind of politician

The Drum Unleashed, ABC.net.au

You don’t have to research Julia Gillard’s story for very long to realise that everybody seems to have an opinion about her – whether they’re interested in politics or not. 

Views seem to be equally divided between those who like her and those who don’t. She’s been praised and criticised for her hairstyle, her clothes, even the way she speaks: some consider her the poster girl for unmarried career women without children, others think she is strident, bullying and above all unfeminine. 

A measurable group of ALP supporters are still angry about the immigration policy she crafted in Opposition after the 2001 Tampa crisis, which they say was far too close to the Howard government’s; others defend Gillard’s ‘pragmatism’.

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The Making of Julia Gillard Hobart Mercury

The Making of Julia Gillard

October 18, 2009 by Deborah Robinson

Julia Gillard is the first woman in our nation’s history to become the Deputy Prime Minister and is tipped by many to go all the way to the top job. Highly intelligent, with a strong work ethic, Gillard is widely perceived to be ambitious. But does she even want to be Prime Minister?

Author of The Making of Julia Gillard, the acclaimed biographer Jacqueline Kent, is the first to tell Gillard’s story in it’s entirety. Kent told me she chose our Deputy Prime Minister as the subject of her third book because she has always been fascinated by women who refuse to conform to sterotype. “We haven’t had enough women politicians and Gillard’s one of the first to try and find a model of her own. She’s doesn’t fit the stereotype. Women in politics have been cute, or very well behaved, or mumsy – more stereotypical women. But she has decided she’s never going to do that.”

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Kate Grenville

Readings to be cheerful
Christmas is coming and that means it’s time both to give and receive books. We asked a range of writers what they had most enjoyed reading this year.

The Making of Julia Gillard (Viking) by Jacqueline Kent shows that a woman
can thrive — not just survive — in an adversarial environment. Kent’s biography is about how Gillard got to where she is. A delight to read: clear, lively, well-balanced between the human and the political.