Once touted as a potential prime minister, former Western Australian premier Brian Burke has had a rollercoaster career. This is the first major biography of this charismatic and influential politician who even out of power and disgraced, pulled political strings in WA and beyond.
The most popular premier in the nation in the 1980s, Brian Burke went to gaol twice after the scandals of WA Inc. His reputation was thought to be damaged beyond repair, but he became a successful lobbyist for some of the most powerful corporations in the country. As the Corruption and Crime Commission steadily closed in on him he was shown to be running a virtual shadow cabinet in his home state.
Quentin Beresford tracks the rise, fall, resurrection and then collapse of the man in the Panama hat, examining what it is in Burke's personality, the nature of Labor party factionalism and the business community that brought him such power and influence across the country.
'In this absorbing account, Beresford succeeds in unraveling the strands of Brian Burke's life, exposing the forces which fashioned his now notorious public persona.' - Carmen Lawrence, former WA Premier and Federal ALP parliamentarian