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Analysis and Comment (8)

Kevin Rudd faces the media after losing the prime ministership in the 2010 party leadership spill. Kevin Rudd faces the media after losing the prime ministership in the 2010 party leadership spill. AAP/Alan Porritt

Why would anyone want to be PM? Understanding what it takes

Why would anyone want to be prime minister? Why indeed? It is a job that will almost certainly end in failure. Only one prime minister in the last 100 years has left office at the time of his own choosing…
Cullen possessed a natural likeability, even an awkward politeness. Cullen possessed a natural likeability, even an awkward politeness. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Review: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen

Adam Cullen, Australian artist and winner of the 2000 Archibald Prize, died just over two years ago at the age of 46. He spent the last three years of his life working with a young writer, Erik Jensen…
Shane Warne has lived his professional life in the public eye. Does this make it more difficult for a biographer to tell his story? Shane Warne has lived his professional life in the public eye. Does this make it more difficult for a biographer to tell his story? AAP Image/Mal Fairclough

Biography in the age of celebrity: what’s left to reveal?

Virginia Woolf – so Hermione Lee writes in Virginia Woolf, her 1997 biography of the celebrated writer – thought it immensely difficult to ever know another person. Today the winner of the 2014 National…
Johnny Warren argued that no other sport reflects life the way football does. Johnny Warren argued that no other sport reflects life the way football does. Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image

The case for Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters by Johnny Warren

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing. See…
Germaine Greer’s acquired work is enough to fill 150 filing drawers. Germaine Greer’s acquired work is enough to fill 150 filing drawers. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Why Germaine Greer’s life in letters is one for the archives

Earlier this week, as you may have read, the University of Melbourne announced it had acquired the archives of a former student, feminist scholar and writer Germaine Greer. The total cost of the archive…
Will we see another lobby group leader who genuinely wants solutions? Will we see another lobby group leader who genuinely wants solutions? AAP

What happened to brave leaders? A look at the life of Rick Farley

When was the last time the head of a national lobby group led a national initiative in the national interest, way beyond the comfort zone of the majority of their constituency? Where are the national leaders…
Steve Jobs' desire for an enduring memory of his work led him to engage a biographer. The book has become his obituary. Steve Jobs' desire for an enduring memory of his work led him to engage a biographer. The book has become his obituary. EPA/Britta Pedersen

The power of biography: Why Steve Jobs' legend will live on

Steve Jobs' “official” biography was always going to be a bestseller, with its promise of a candid examination of the inner workings of the world’s most successful salesman and the company he twice built…
Thousands of Brits moved to Australia for the thrill of a more glamorous life. But many struggled. Thousands of Brits moved to Australia for the thrill of a more glamorous life. But many struggled. Flickr/MarkFaviellPhotos

A moving history: how personal stories illuminate the past

Published biographies, and indeed many histories, are often about the famous, rich or powerful. And most often, they’re about men. I’ve preferred to research and write about so-called “ordinary” men and…