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My Story by [Gillard, Julia]
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My Story Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 24 Sep 2014
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Length: 659 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

'I was prime minister for three years and three days.Three years and three days of resilience.Three years and three days of changing the nation.Three years and three days for you to judge.'

On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot.

The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia's 27th prime minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities. Here was a new approach for a new time.

It was to last three extraordinary years.

This is Julia Gillard's chronicle of that turbulent time, a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like - in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media - to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future. This is a politician driven by a sense of purpose - from campus days with the Australian Union of Students, to a career in the law, to her often gritty, occasionally glittering rise up the ranks of the Australian Labor Party.

Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes. Here is an account of what was hidden behind the resilience and dignified courage Gillard showed as prime minister, her view of the vicious hate campaigns directed against her, and a reflection on what it means - and what it takes - to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.

Here, in her own words, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia's first female prime minister.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4433 KB
  • Print Length: 659 pages
  • Publisher: RHA eBooks Adult (24 September 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House Australia
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KBO8LAQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,054 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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By Alana Woods TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 December 2014
I’m impressed with the generosity of spirit that Julia Gillard possesses. The book is littered with the names of people to whom she gives thanks: for their enduring friendship, their casual mateship, their thoughtfulness, their support and love. What a rich life this woman has, if those she counts as friends is a guide.

And that in her official memoir encompassing her time as Prime Minister of Australia she unstintingly gives credit where she believes it’s due to her political opponents and enemies as well as the many people who sustained and continue to sustain her is generous indeed.

Generous also is her take on what is important in life: to make a difference to the lives of others through your own hard work.

Working class immigrants to Australia from Wales when Gillard was a child, her parents regretted their lack of education and the limits it placed on them. Education and hard work were inculcated into their two daughters. And Gillard has made bettering Australia’s education system her life’s work. The education sphere is where she headed immediately she left politics.

I’ve never read the memoirs of past prime ministers before. Never wanted to. But I felt the memoirs of the first female to hold that position warranted my attention. Having only read this one I don’t know if its structure follows a formula for PM memoirs. Whether it does or not it’s a good one. Rather than adopting a time sequential telling where the multiplicity of what was going on at any given time would overwhelm you, each chapter covers a different aspect of her prime ministership.

The first part chronicles the overall story. Subsequent chapters deal with individual areas such as defence, health, education, environment, tax, foreign policy.
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A bit boring, goes too far in to policy mechanics rather than focusing on principles. I found that if I didn't have a keen interest in a particular topic being discussed I would feel like every page was a labour rather than a joy.
The book does however provide an insight in to how much work and pressure comes with the job of prime minister. It certainly takes a tough character to run a government.
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Disclosure - I did not vote for Gillard. I was intrigued to read this book as I was puzzled about the 'real' Julia. Most people who know her speak in very positive terms, yet the public never seemed to see that warm, friendly, likeable side. Kevin Rudd was the exact opposite, and he in fact, referred to this book publicly as a work of fiction. Is this a fair assessment? In short, no. It is Gillard's perspective on the major issues of the last decade, revealing many things that went on behind the scenes that we did not previously know about. Anecdotes like Rudd reading the bible the entire plane trip to Gallipoli then launching into a tirade of abusive language on land is fascinating reading. The book is very well edited - beginning with the Kevin Rudd leadership challenge, and there are no boring parts to skip. The book is very cohesive and well organised, testament to her years as a lawyer and her outstanding organisational skills that she brought to the office of PM.

The tone of the first few chapters however is quite vindictive and bitter, obviously reflecting her emotional state at the time of writing. There is a hint of arrogance at times when she uses high modality, such as stating that the mining tax 'was the right thing to do', refusing to engage in alternative critical perspectives. As the book continues, the reflections become more thoughtfully crafted and objective. There is also a good deal of humour interspersed.

As a male, I must admit I was hoping the book would not feature a man-bashing feminist narrative and it doesn't. It does however clearly articulate the incredible amount of sexism she has been subject to over many years. For example, at a business meeting of around 50 people she was one of only 2 females present.
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An enjoyable and satisfying read that had me feeling some sympathy for Julia Gillard, laughing with her, cheering her on, admiring her capacity to think clearly and wishing Australia, and the rest of the Western World would get over its cliched claim that when women say it like it is, we are playing the gender card. Like Julia, most women know the gender card well and truly exists and it's almost always played by the blokes. Worth reading just to know that Julia is a clear thinking woman with well developed crap detection skills
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An interesting insight into the working of Parliament. It may be only one persons view but it was still valuable.
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I really enjoyed this book and the insights into the thinking of Julia Gillard. I think she did an amazing job considering the attacks she had to bear from her own party and the aggressive opposition which went far beyond the norm. She had great ideas for this country and she achieved many of her aims in spite of the NO NO of the Liberal party. She freely admits mistakes and the book and her Prime Ministership deserve respect.
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I am responding to RD Turner New York review which displays blatant ignorance regarding politics in Australia and all the arrogance, claimed by sll USA citizens but without having earned it. The majority of the USA population don't literary know where Australia is geographically and are hardly experts on the politics of their own country let alone those of other nations. Turner like every USA citizen would do the world a favour by getting an education, something Australia extends to all its citizens and is affordable here unlike the USA before they express an opinion on the politics and leaders of other nations. Clean up your own back yard before you comment on Gillards leadership and get your politics to scrub of the blood off their hands over decades of interface in the politics of other nations. The USA needs a conscious.
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