By James Norman
A biography of the individual obvious by way of many because the sincere face of Australian politics, this intimate exploration of Bob Brown's international info his tough formative years, shy struggles with sexuality, look for intimacy, and conversion from conservative kingdom health care professional to environmental activist and political progressive.
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Extra info for Bob Brown: Gentle Revolutionary
Having parted ways with conventional religion, Bob nevertheless clung to his conservative politics into his twenties. He voted for the Country Party, and even tried to join the Liberal Party on a number of occasions unsuccessfully, purely owing to circumstance. The events of his unsuccessful attempts to join the Liberal Party seem uncanny, bordering on the absurd. Firstly, in Sydney, Brown simply couldn’t find the Liberals’ office. ‘I went down to Ash Street or Bridge Street in Sydney and couldn’t find the place,’ he says.
Believing himself out of luck, he liked the property so much that he left his number with Dean regardless, just in case. Within a couple of days, Dean rang Brown to inform him that the previous buyer’s wife had taken one look at the weatherboard house and rambling bushlands around it and put a stop to the transaction. Bob jumped at the opportunity. Bob Brown pages 22/4/05 9:20 AM Page 48 48 Bob Brown: Gentle revolutionary He was 28 years old. He still owns the bush block in the Liffey Valley today and by the look of it, not much has changed in the intervening thirty years.
Even at university, Brown was getting lessons in the ‘unfairness of the world’, and the importance of circumstance and contacts, over real virtue. Fearing a flooding of the medical profession, Sydney University failed over 50 per cent of its students in the first two years that Brown was there. He was shocked at the patent unfairness of the ‘lotto-like’ procedure. After failing a few subjects in his first year, (including scoring 32 per cent for Chemistry in his first semester) Brown learnt that the only way to pass was to lock himself in his room for weeks before the examinations and simply learn all the facts by rote.