This context may have made Tony Abbott, the man likely to become prime minister next year, wary of being too open with Marr when he was researching his latest essay, Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott.
He did give Marr an interview but only allowed one skerrick from it to be made public.
But Marr doesn’t really get very far in explaining Abbott’s Catholic values.
He does go over fairly well-known ground in detailing his Jesuit school background and his admiration for Bob Santamaria and the Democratic Labor Party, but only begins to explore the implications of all this for Abbott as prime minister.
Nevertheless, a number of them have been influential, including QE 37 by David Marr, the now infamous Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd.
That essay’s revelations of Rudd’s darker side played its part in undermining the Prime Minister prior to his removal in June of that year.
George Pell, now a great power in Rome, leaves in his wake shocking revelations about his defence of the church, its power and its assets, as he came to grips with the scandal of child sex abuse by priests.
This new edition of The Prince, significantly expanded and updated, draws on fresh evidence of Pell's role as priest, bishop and cardinal as this scandal engulfed the Catholic world over the last thirty years.
John Warhurst does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
There is a limit to what any writer can do in 20,000 words, so not too much should be expected of the essays in the Quarterly Essay series.