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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780857984364
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

He Who Must Be Obeid

The Untold Story




Queensland had the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the Moonlight State. New South Wales has Eddie Obeid.

Queensland had the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the Moonlight State. New South Wales has Eddie Obeid.

Meet Australia's most corrupt politician whose brazen misdeeds were said to be on a scale "unexceeded since the days of the Rum Corps".

From the shadows Obeid ran the state as his fiefdom, making and unmaking premiers.

His tentacles stretched through all levels of government, encircling almost every precious resource - coal leases, Circular Quay cafes, marinas, even the state's water. All of them were secret money-spinners for Obeid and his family.

Above ground, below ground, in the air, on the water, there was no domain beyond Obeid's grasp. Now, many of the key politicians of his era have given a candid account of Obeid's pernicious backroom influence.

Following their groundbreaking investigations, the award-winning journalists Kate McClymont and Linton Besser have unearthed the vast but secret empire Obeid built over decades, producing an authoritative account of how he got away with so much for so long.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780857984364
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

About the Authors

Kate McClymont

Investigative journalist Kate McClymont must be the best-known journalist in NSW, and probably has the most intriguing muses of any writer around. She is certainly the most-awarded Australian journalist. As a crime reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, Kate spends her time mixing with and writing about some of the shadiest characters in the story of Sydney. Once derided by Paul Keating for spending her time “chasing subterranean odours”, Kate’s sense of smell has led her to unearth some of the underworld’s most fascinating tales of betrayal, corruption and crime. They are the stories the central characters don’t want told, and these non-fiction villains will do their best to silence the storyteller. Her phone’s been tapped, she’s had police security, and received death threats in the aftermath of her Gold Walkley-winning expose of the Bulldogs salary cap scandal. It was Kate in whom millionaire businessman Michael McGurk confided that he feared for his life, just one week before he was fatally gunned down outside his Sydney home.

Linton Besser

Linton Besser is a multi-award-winning investigative reporter whose work has exposed corruption in the public service, the police and at the highest levels of Australia's business community. He has twice been awarded a Walkley Award for investigative reporting, he has been a recipient of a Kennedy award for excellence in journalism, and received a George Munster Award for independentreporting. His journalism has appeared in print in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Bulletin. In 2014 he joined ABC television's Four Corners.


Praise for He Who Must Be Obeid

“A very valuable and important and groundbreaking contribution to this sad, dark, evil saga that has unfolded at ICAC.”

The Hon Morris Iemma

“Extraordinarily well-researched book.”

The Hon Nathan Rees MP

“In writing a lengthy book about a deeply corrupt politician whose tentacles extended throughout New South Wales, and beyond, Kate McClymont and Linton Besser have had to rely on assistance from almost every quarter of the nation. This includes a swag of sitting and former state and federal politicians who spoke to the prize-winning journalists on and off the record. In telling this explosive story of secret family and other networks of influence of arguably the most corrupt politician in Australian history, it is good to know that McClymont and Besser have been heartened by the knowledge that there still remain "people in politics who are genuinely concerned about the public interest, not just the next score". I He Who Must Be Obeid is one of the most compelling works of investigative journalism that I have read for years.”

Ross Fitzgerald, The Sydney Morning Herald

“McClymont deserves her title as the queen of Australian journalism. Her peerless investigative correspondence is synonymous with the terrifying underworld power-lords that lurk in a glittering Sydney’s shadows. Here McClymont’s teamed up with Linton Besser, the Four Corners rising star whose documentary on Obeid is a must-watch, for an enthralling account of a man who conned an entire state and nearly got away with it. Their humour and insight into this remarkable old conman is enchanting. He Who Must Be Obeid is the definitive account of this sorry saga and McClymont and Besser are as good as Australian journalism gets.”

The Saturday Paper

“Records, in magnificent detail, the corrupt political career of ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid.”

Alex Mitchell, Crikey

“A ground-breaking book about corrupt former NSW politician Eddie Obeid.”

Margot Saville, Crikey

“Possibly the best work of Proper History we will ever get about corruption in Australian politics.”

Brett Evans, Inside Story


Awards & Recognition

  • Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime

    Shortlisted • 2014 • Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime of 2014


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