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Would you read a political memoir?

by Catherine Van Bergen (follow)
Question (169)      Memoir (25)      Biography (20)      Politics (6)     


Just some of the latest political titles available
Just some of the latest political titles available


If you have browsed your local bookstore lately, you may have noticed an unusual number of books written by, about or with, politicians from the Australian government. For some reason or other, the powers that be have decided that it isn’t enough to have politicians spouting their views on the nightly news or in the newspapers-we now have the ‘opportunity’ to read about their lives, their political values and whatever else they deem important enough to immortalise in the pages of a book. International politicians are even joining the bandwagon, with the UK’s Gordon Brown and US senator Hilary Clinton joining the list of wannabe biographers.

Current politicians aren’t the only ones doing the rounds- former Australian Prime Minister John Howard (who has already penned his own autobiography) will be releasing a book about the life of our longest-serving Prime Minister Robert Menzies (which is due to be released in October). Late September will also see the release of an autobiography by our very first female Prime Minister- Julia Gillard.

But do we want to read these books? Is anybody (besides their own family) really interested in the lives of the politicians who squabble like school children yet rule our government? Do you think these books are interesting? Are some of the scandals that could potentially be reported enough to pique your interest? Or are these political memoirs more likely to end up on the bargain bin table?

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Maybe. It would have to be a politician I was very interested in though. By and large they don't really appeal to me.
I have read the official biography of Margaret Thatcher, which is not a memoir as such. I feel that she was such a monumental figure in twentieth century politics, love her or hate her, that knowing more about her life is interesting.
I tried to read Alan Clark's Diaries (another British politician) and just got so sick of his arrogance and self-satisfaction that I gave up after just a few pages. It's very rare for me to stop reading a book before the end! This has put me off reading any more such memoirs but I know there are other politician's diaries that are supposed to give great insight into the events of their time in power.
They certainly don't interest me.
Yes, those of politicians I admire or am interested in (not necessarily like but who fascinate me). I am about to start Hard Choices (Hilary Clinton).
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