About Jacquie

When it comes to dealing with multiple brands, you need a good online shopping portal such as Newegg or Best Buy that can help in choosing wide range of necessities. Online shopping coupons will certainly help you whenever you shop through online portals, you can get coupons for online shopping from Don't Pay Full website.
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.
points of sale Logo Quiz answers chain of cosmetics Amazon Coupons makeup, skincare consumers

The Making of Julia Gillard

Writing the life story of an Australian woman politician in mid career was a very different kind of project for me. I had already written two biographies of women – editor Beatrice Davis and social reformer and musician Hephzibah Menuhin – but they had been whole life stories. Julia Gillard is only in her forties, and who knows what she may yet achieve?

Gillard herself greeted the project with less than total enthusiasm at first. Indeed, when I first approached her with a polite letter, copies of books, my credentials, etc., I heard nothing for months. A phone call to her office elicited a not-particularly-polite brushoff from one of her press people.

I decided to go ahead. Frankly, I wasn’t sure how much co-operation I actually wanted from Julia Gillard. I had been watching her on TV long enough to know that here was someone who said exactly what she wanted to, who did not let the media run her

agenda, who could deflect difficult questions with boilerplate answers. Here was a professional politician: she wouldn’t tell a biographer more about a particular issue than she had already said to a score of TV,casino radio and print journalists Australia, and she was very unlikely to open up emotionally. On the other hand, I certainly didn’t want to write an authorised biography. Taking what your subject says at face value and using only the information he or she provides without getting any other points of view has always seemed to me to be the antithesis of the biographer’s job.

But without any co-operation at all from Julia Gillard, how was I going to write a complete and satisfying book? Especially as had little direct knowledge of her background? She had been a student activist, an industrial lawyer and a dedicated member of the ALP; I had come up through journalism, radio production and book publishing. True, I had helped federal politicians Graham Richardson, Tom Uren and Susan Ryan write their memoirs, I knew my way around the ALP to some extent and I am a practised and I believe versatile writer. I certainly had the skills to write a biography of Gillard, and there were a few observations I meant to make about this country’s political culture, but I wanted

to produce something more than a straight linear narrative. How to avoid writing a plodding account worried me, not least because I had agreed to a very tight deadline for the book.

A breakthrough came when I was directed to Doug Hendrie, a young Melbourne-based journalist who agreed to be my researcher. Doug speedily found a range of Gillard’s previous colleagues, men and women who had known her as a student politician, witnessed her early mistakes and victories in politics, seen her become an increasingly authoritative industrial

advocate, cheered on or criticised her first attempts to enter federal parliament. Their comments showed one thing very clearly: Julia Gillard was not universally loved. This sort of information is always welcome to a biographer since it argues for a degree of interesting complexity.

Doug’s research had another result. I received a phone call from a member of Gillard’s staff, asking me whether I wanted to talk to the minister. Some of Doug’s interviewees had evidently checked back with Julia Gillard, so she knew who we were talking to. Perhaps she thought the book was not likely to be hostile, but maybe she wanted to get her side of the story in as well.

In the event, I had several conversations with Julia Gillard, and these are described in the book. She was cordial, businesslike, offering friendliness without friendship. She gave me precisely the amount of time allotted, answered all questions, offered very little extra information. When I checked back, she corrected only errors of fact. As anyone who has done this sort of exercise will tell you, Gillard’s approach is extremely rare: when asked to look at their words again most people lash out with panic-stricken biros and rewrite almost everything. (Some of the interviewees certainly did.)

I didn’t want to give the book a dull title such as JULIA GILLARD A POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY. For one thing, Gillard has had an eventful and interesting life outside politics. And I like the intriguing double meaning implicit in the word ‘making’: this is the story of how Julia Gillard became the politician she is, and also of the events that tested her resolve and how she dealt with them.

Comments are closed.