Keating: The Interviews

10 Jan

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Paul Keating is one of Australia’s most charismatic and fascinating political leaders. In this candid, four-part interview series, the former prime minister reveals intimate details about his childhood, his early passion for politics and the highs and lows of his 40-year political career.

From his childhood growing up in the working-class suburb of Bankstown, to taking on the top job between 1991 and 1996, Keating reveals an early fascination with power and the ability to use it to effect great change. While Keating’s love of Mahler and fine Italian suits is well documented, here we are given a fascinating insight into other facets of his life, such as his early years managing rock band The Ramrods and his close relationship with his grandmother.

Veteran journalist Kerry O’Brien is a master interviewer whose thought-provoking questions help to uncover the underlying motivations of this great man. Keating, who turns 70 this year, is as thoughtful and acerbic as ever, his famous talent for scathing ripostes still evident as he describes his tumultuous relationship with Bob Hawke.

While many voters today are switching off from the political debate amid insipid leadership, it’s inspiring to hear Keating speak with passion for economic and social reform and painting a bigger picture for Australia. Labor fans in particular will love this exploration of one of Australia’s most intriguing political characters.

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