‘There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.’
–Tony Abbott, 15 September 2015
Abbott’s performances in the party-room debates on education and climate change had ranged between woeful and pathetic. He sounded desperate, he was inconsistent, and — his colleagues thought — slightly ridiculous. They knew he would never stop going after cheap headlines during soft interviews where he sucked up the oxygen, with revision and division as his calling cards. All they could hope was that people would soon grow tired of listening to him. Normal people might have, but the media grew more and more hysterical, as if a challenge were imminent.
In the original edition of The Road to Ruin, prominent political commentator, author, and columnist for The Australian Niki Savva revealed the ruinous behaviour of former prime minister Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. Based on her unrivalled access to their colleagues, and devastating first-person accounts of what went on behind the scenes, Savva painted an unforgettable picture of a unique duo who wielded power ruthlessly but not well.
That edition became a major bestseller, and went on to win an Australian book industry award for the best general non-fiction book of the year.
Now Savva continues where she left off. This updated edition contains a new, 13,500-word final chapter, in which Savva reveals the inner state of the Turnbull government — and the behind-the-scenes jockeying of friends and foes alike. From Christopher Pyne’s career-stalling own goal, to Peter Dutton’s post-Turnbull leadership ambitions, to Tony Abbott’s ramped-up destabilisation campaign, it is, as usual, an unputdownable and impeccably sourced account.
‘[W]ell researched and well written, with a sharp eye — albeit with an occasional, serrated edge. Savva has written a book in which it is easy to be immersed. The narrative unfolds in a convincing flow, sourced directly from the words of many of the players: the bruised and battered; the disillusioned and disaffected; and ultimately in the triumphant voices of the Coalition plotters … [A] compelling book that has established an indelible and influential benchmark for explaining the turbulent rise and tumultuous fall of the Abbott government.’
Stephen Loosley, Weekend Australian
View all reviews
‘It is a terrific book, but that's not the point here. The point is that Savva does not rely on anonymous sources for her examination of the relationship between Abbott and Peta Credlin. Her sources are named. They speak for themselves. We know who they are and where they worked and we know the terms and circumstances of their relationships with Abbott or Credlin.’
Michael Gawenda, The Age
‘Savva's inside knowledge and contacts within the Liberal Party (especially the party's moderate centre) means the planning leading up to the spill is a fascinating real-life political thriller … a cracking political read.’
Christopher Sanders, Adelaide Review
‘The book is a revelation if you thought it was just politicians running the country. After about 140 pages the focus shifts from Credlin — who comes across as a micromanaging narcissist — to Abbott and his many debacles (awarding a knighthood to Prince Philip being the most idiotic).’