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Diary of a Foreign Minister First Edition Edition

4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1742234175
ISBN-10: 1742234178
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bob Carr is a former premier of New South Wales and a former senator, serving as minister of foreign affairs from March 2012 to September 2013. His previous books are My Reading Life and Thoughtlines.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: University of New South Wales Press; First Edition edition (August 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1742234178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742234175
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,441,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Bob Carr’s lifelong ambition was to become a career politician – and more specifically to become Australia’s Foreign Minister. In his early years he meticulously prepared himself for the role with vocal training to develop a mellifluous voice and physical training to maintain a lean and attractive persona. He has had a life-long interest in history, the arts and foreign affairs. He initially achieved his ambition by becoming a conservative Labour Party Premier for Australia’s largest state - New South Wales – a role he held for a record term until his retirement in 2007. He says he achieved this by running a conservative agenda and by always trying not to upset anyone. His ultimate ambition to become Australia’s Foreign Minister fell into his lap in March 2012 when he was called out of retirement and appointed by Labour to a Senate spot in the Australian federal parliament and to become Australia’s Foreign Minister. He held the Foreign Minister’s role for 18 months until September 2013 when Labour was defeated at an election which installed the conservative Abbott government.
Bob Carr was jubilant at his unexpected but long desired appointment and determined to extract the maximum enjoyment from his sojourn as Foreign Minister. One newspaper columnist said “In his latest political incarnation as Foreign Minister, Bob Carr gives every indication of being the happiest man in cabinet…All the quirk, the high pants, the stump speech magic and the deep love of history, books and foreign affairs is being rolled into one giant, show stopping international geek adventure”.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bob Carr was foreign minister for a short period, and appeared to do a good job of it. Very controversial when first released because this broke some sort of unwritten rule (whatever...), in fact Carr kept away from providing anything truly secret on foreign affairs. But his observations and inside view on Labor party internal politics is fascinating. Recommended for all with an interest in Australian politics
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The first third of this book is a real page turner. But the jokes wear as thin as he thinks we should all be. His knowledge of Foreign Affairs is displayed cleverly, but after the tenth whinge about Business Class, and his obsession with keeping his bony frame in shape, gets tiresome. He had little to complain about - he coveted this job, got it handed to him, did it well and, at all times, had his wife as his companion at taxpayers expense (as he should), but then complained about the sufferings they both endured in the most lavish circumstances.

My knowledge of politics is insufficient to comment on whether Carr broke Cabinet security. I'd like to hear from a constitutional expert on this.
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You need a reasonable knowledge of international politicians, who is who and where they hang out or you will get lost in the excessive name dropping. However I was surprised to learn what a hard working guy Bob is, also how narcissistic he is, how obsessed he is with his diet and his incomprehensible obsession with Pilates.Cannot pretend it was a riveting read but it did give me a much better understanding of politics in general and an in depth look at the day to day of a Foreign Minister
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Format: Hardcover
Bob Carr Diary of a Foreign Minister

Don’t ask me exactly when Bob Carr was Labor Premier of NSW, or how he got to be Australia’s Foreign Minister (March 2012 to September 2013). All I recall were outraged howls about the book, his perceived arrogance. When I can now see he must have hung upon the cheek of the our body politic like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear, as Shakespeare memorably puts it - are we still allowed to say that?

But that’s an endemic problem with the Australian Left, most likely a worldwide phenomenon – people who can’t tell the difference between arrogance and self-confidence, and where to draw the fine line which separates one from the other.

Luckily Bob Carr is well endowed with the ability to make what are now known as ‘judgement calls.’ (Don’t mentioned the D word!) I’d like to think this was because he had a real job before he went into politics, but then our current Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberal predecessor, Tony Abbott, were once journalists too.

For instance, in April 2012, when Carr was at the UN, addressing ambassadors from the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, he decided he’d been given ‘a decent departmental speech and I stuck to it.’ Whereas three hours later, at a reception for Asia-Pacific delegates, it’s ‘Threw away boring text. Lifted the atmosphere with humour and personality.’ (So it’s not just Prince Phillip! Republicans can do it too.)

As if you’d want a Foreign Minister who didn’t have self-confidence, too afraid to complain about substandard airline facilities. Even little old ladies in cattle class can do it, but it seems we can stop dreaming about being upgraded, even in First Class there’s no guarantee of edible food.
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