From the bush of Baradine to the corridors of Canberra, this is Craig Emerson's story of triumph over adversity.
In the mid-1960s, in the small town of Baradine in north-western New South Wales, the Emerson family was in continual crisis. The mother suffered from deep depression, and the father was exhausted by their constant fights. The two sons - Craig and Lance - were traumatised by their mother's mental struggles and inexplicable outbursts of violence against them.
Yet both parents worked hard for meagre wages to give Craig a good education, and he vindicated their sacrifice. After gaining a PhD in economics, he was invited to join Bob Hawke's staff to help design and implement the Labor government's economic and environmental program. Craig became like a son to the prime minister; he and Bob worked hard, but also relished time out for betting, joking, and singing.
During Craig's own roller-coaster journey as a politician, factional power-brokers exiled him to the backbench, but his perseverance and abilities earned him the honour of becoming Australia's minister for trade and higher education.
The Boy from Baradine is an unusually honest ex-politician's memoir. It is a deeply human tale of trauma and triumph, of fear and fun, which will inspire young people to succeed even from the most unlikely of personal circumstances.
'One of the most detailed and illuminating books about the exercise of power in Canberra that I have so far had the pleasure of reading. Emerson has produced a highly engaging, compassionate and empathetic account of his sometimes stellar, sometimes dispiriting career, and of the political world that he inhabited for so long.'
-Ross Fitzgerald, Weekend Australian
'A shockingly personal, honest, and compelling reflection on an extraordinary Australian life. Containing brilliant insights from the early Hawke reforms to the end of Rudd, this is a most revealing Australian political autobiography, from one of Australia's wisest and most thoughtful public-policy economists.'
'This is a refreshingly frank - and at times gut-wrenching - account of an unlikely political life, driven by Craig's own experiences and his ambition to try to create a better world. If only there were more politicians with the guts to be so honest.'
Title: The Boy from Baradine
Format: Paperback Book
Release Date: 26 Feb 2018
Type: Craig Emerson
Catalogue No: 9781925322590