This is my final review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013, and I didn’t think I’d choose to review a biography. In a way, Take Your Best Shot. The Prime Ministership of Julia Gillard is less a biography and more a recap of recent events in Australian Federal politics. As such, it’s clear and concise. Although, I do wonder if I found it so appealing because I share much of the author’s apparent sympathy with Julia Gillard’s political views. If you’re a Liberal supporter, I suspect the book will irk you occasionally. It still makes for a handy reader on recent events.
Surprisingly, Ms Gillard as a person seemed to retreat further from me as I read. She became less a personality and more a political actor; one with distinct flaws in her ability to engage the community.
The problem with reviewing this short and very well put together book is that my personal opinions on the events described keep wanting to break in. I don’t agree that Tony Abbott, the then Opposition Leader, succeeded in portraying himself as a likeable bloke while Ms Gillard was distant and wooden. In fact, I think this was a myth that the media and social media promoted.
But then, when it comes to politics, maybe myths are more important than reality?
What I value Take Your Best Shot for is that in restating recent events, Ms Kent reminded me of the journey from the wild hope of our first female Prime Minister, to the stupidities of politicians and media playing vicious games. Whatever your political beliefs, the challenge of shaping our society is still before us.