"In the 1981 NSW election the Liberal Party won only one seat back from Neville Wran's ALP: Willoughby, won by 34-year-old Peter Collins. Five years later Peter was Deputy Leader of the Liberals, and in 1988 the newly elected Premier, Nick Greiner, handed him the Health portfolio, one of the toughest assignments in State politics." "The Bear Pit is Peter Collins' story - his rapid elevation to deputy leadership, his role in the parliament long known as 'the bear pit', his battles as a cabinet minister, the defamation case which nearly brought him to financial ruin, the dark days of Opposition, his betrayal by colleagues who staged an eleventh-hour coup in a powerplay as breathtaking as it was suicidal. Under a new leader, the party for which he had worked for a quarter of a century went on to suffer the greatest defeat since its creation five decades before. The Bear Pit tells this story from the inside, revealing much about how politics is played out by the people we elect." "But it's not all about politics. It's about growing up in half-a-dozen places in the country and Sydney's suburbs, about student days during the Vietnam War and days as a TV journalist in the Whitlam era. It's about lifelong passions - for the performing and visual arts, for public service, for Australia's history. It's about family and friends."—BOOK JACKET.