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Quarterly Essay: David Marr on Bill Shorten
How does it feel to find out you’ll be the next subject of a Quarterly Essay by David Marr?
The good news is that you’re joining the ranks of some of the most influential people in Australian public life – Marr’s previous subjects include John Howard, Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and George Pell.
The bad news is that Marr is an incisive writer and a fiendishly thorough researcher with a knack for digging up surprising biographical details. What you’d like is a rather dull record of your achievements in public life; perhaps some nice quotes from your colleagues. What you might end up getting, as Kevin Rudd learned, is a page-turner.
For Issue 59 of the Quarterly Essay, Marr turns his attention to Bill Shorten. Marr’s essay, Faction Man, examines the background and leadership style of the zinger-generating opposition leader and also looks into the future of the Australian Labor Party’s ties with the union movement. It’s a movement that has shaped the party’s past as well as its present leader. Will it continue to shape the future?
Sophie Black joins Marr for a conversation about the man who would be Prime Minister.
Presented in partnership with Quarterly Essay.