Take Your Best Shot by Jacqueline Kent – Review

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.

3 Replies to “Take Your Best Shot by Jacqueline Kent – Review”

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  2. Great review, Jenny. I think it's a little too soon for an objective view of her prime ministership and legacy but I think history will be much kinder to her than the media would have us believe at the time.

    1. Coleen, it was so hard to review the book, I can only imagine how difficult the author found it to write. We really are still the bit too close and pretty emotionally opinionated on the topic — or maybe that's me? 🙂 *wanders off to rant to the dog about our current PM*