Quarterly Essay 34

Stop At Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull

Annabel Crabb

Release Date:
June 2009
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What does Malcolm Turnbull stand for? In Stop at Nothing Annabel Crabb tells the story of the man who would be prime minister.

Based on extensive interviews with Turnbull as well as those who have worked with him, this is an essay full of revelations. Crabb delves into young Malcolm's university exploits - which included co-authoring a musical with Bob Ellis - and his remarkable relationship with Kerry Packer, the man for whom he was at first a prized attack dog, and then a mortal enemy. She asks whether Turnbull - colourful, aggressive, humorous and ruthless - has what it takes to re-invigorate the Australian Liberal Party in the wake of John Howard. She discusses his vexed relationship with Kevin Rudd, and the looming presence of Peter Costello. This is a scintillating portrait by one of the country's most incisive reporters.

"How would Australia be different if he were prime minister? What are his most closely held policy convictions? I asked dozens of Malcolm Turnbull's political colleagues this question, asking them to name three. Many of them had to pause before responding. 'You'll have to excuse me. I'm eating some chocolate,' was the best initial response, from a Liberal on the other end of a phone line." —Annabel Crabb, Stop At Nothing

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This issue also contains correspondence relating to the previous issue QE33 Quarry Vision by Guy Pearse. Correspondence relating to QE34 Stop At Nothing will appear in the next issue. 

About the Author

Annabel Crabb is the Sydney Morning Herald’s political sketchwriter and from December 2009 will be the ABC’s chief online political writer. She appears regularly on ABC TV’s Insiders program. She is the author of Losing It: The Inside Story of the Labor Party in Opposition (2005) and Quarterly Essay 34, Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull.

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Annabel Crabb talks about Stop At Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull
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