Julia Gillard was impatient for the prime ministership, and either worked with or allowed others to manufacture a sense of crisis around Rudd's leadership. She then cut down a prime minister in his first term and tried to pretend it was in the national interest to do so. Since then, she has been the architect of her own misfortune.' In Tales from the Political Trenches Maxine McKew counters the view that Julia Gillard was a reluctant deputy who was forced to move against a chaotic and dysfunctional Kevin Rudd - and offers a different version of events. Her story is an intimate account of one of the most tumultuous periods in Australian politics, as well as a tale of personal change. She brings a reporter's eye and an insider's knowledge to a story that has caused despair among Labor supporters and produced disillusionment among the electorate. After winning a spectacular victory against Prime Minister John Howard in 2007, McKew was one of the many casualties of the disastrous 2010 election campaign, when Labor was left clinging to the wreckage and forced into minority government. Still dealing with her own disappointments in a political career cut short by the machinations of her own party, and with more questions than answers, McKew has spent the past year talking to her colleagues in an effort to understand what went wrong. Tales from the Political Trenches is a must-read for those who have followed the events of the past few years and are still asking, What the hell happened?'
Maxine McKew is a Vice Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She also works as an advisor on education to the not-for-profit group Social Ventures Australia, is Chair of Playgroup Australia and a member of the board of Per Capita. At the 2007 federal election Maxine McKew wrote herself into Australian political history as only the second candidate ever to beat a prime minister in his own seat. She was immediately elevated to the executive and served as Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood, and later as Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Before making the switch to politics, Maxine had a thirty-year career as a broadcast and print journalist. As host of Lateline and part-time anchor of 7.30 Report she earned a reputation as one of the country's most authoritative interviewers. Her television reporting has been recognised by her peers with both Logie and Walkley awards for broadcast excellence, while her work for the Bulletin saw her secure the Magazine Publisher's Award for Columnist of the Year. A sought-after speaker and facilitator, Maxine is represented by Claxton Communications and is involved in a range of voluntary activities.