Author(s): Brian Edwards
New Zealand's first elected woman Prime Minister remains an enigma to many, despite her almost daily exposure on television. In Helen: Portrait of a Prime Minister, Brian Edwards has produced a comprehensive, balanced and absorbing account of the life, times and character of the real Helen Clark.
Working largely from taped conversations with the Prime Minister herself, with her family, friends and colleagues, and with a wide range of political journalists and commentators, the author presents a fascinating panorama of anecdote, fact, and opinion on Helen Clark's strengths and weaknesses as a person and a politician.
Part oral history, part biography, the narrative follows Clark's life and career from childhood through to the present day. It explains how the daughter of a conservative, National-voting, farming family became a left-wing activist; how she was transformed from a seemingly dry and brittle academic into a popular, media-savvy and charismatic leader; how she moulded a disparate group of factions into a cohesive coalition.
Brian Edwards is the author or editor of numerous books, including Right Out, a study of the 1972 General Election, in which he stood as the Labour Party candidate for Miramar. With his wife, Judy Callingham, he runs a media consulting business in Auckland. The couple have provided media advice to Helen Clark since 1996. In 1999 Dr Edwards was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to broadcasting and journalism.
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