THE first of at least two books tracing some of the turbulent times of Tony Windsor is set to hit book shelves in less than a month.
Tamworth writer and researcher Ruth Rae’s book on the former Werris Creek farmer who went on to lead independents in holding the balance of power in two governments, will be published next month and is credited with being an authorised biography of the former controversial MP.
The publishers Allen and Unwin expect to see the book in book shops on July 14.
Ms Rae, who has previously published a number of books, including a history of Australian nurses in World War I, approached Mr Windsor about 18 months ago to write the book.
“Ruth’s been very thorough about it,” Windsor said.
“She came to Canberra while I was still there for about a week at one stage to interview me. But there’s a lot of characters and she’s been very thorough in terms of getting the detail right.”
“There’s a bit about my mother and a lot my family will show interest in but for others who will be looking for the political juice, it’s got that too.”
The publishers describe the book Tony Windsor The Biography as a fascinating insight into one of Australia’s most powerful and effective political figures.
They say it lays bare the personal story behind the politician and Windsor says it traces his life basically from his conception.
Rae says the book shows Windsor’s personal values and empathy were central to his ability to give a voice to rural and regional Australians.
It is a paperback book of 344 pages, including a 16-page photographic insert, and will retail for $35 and come in ebook form too.
It has a striking cover shot of Windsor in an open-necked shirt and jacket staring down the reader and is a relaxed and comfortable looking shot of a bloke who caused a political storm four years ago when he and fellow independent Rob Oakshott sided with Julia Gillard to give Labor the 2010 election.
Windsor and Oakshott have since both retired from the corridors of political power – and both are the subject of new books.
While Oakshott’s recollections of the hung parliament and his stories of the background to the political landscape was released a couple of weeks back, Windsor’s next book is still being written but is due out in the next few months.
Former executive assistant Graham Nuttall has been helping Windsor collate and transcribe some of the background notes and material for the next media expose.
And Lyn Windsor, Tony’s wife, has been instrumental in being the strength behind that task too.
Windsor says Lyn is “the real archivist” in the partnership.
“Lyn’s got plastic folders everywhere and there’s a lot recorded in files.”
He promises it should be a juicier read with plenty of Windsor witticisms about some of the pollies he paired up with and parried in political debate.