EDITING MATTERS, 1969-73

By Rowan Cahill From 1969 to 1973, I was a member of the Editorial Board, later Editorial Collective, of Australian Left Review (ALR), the Marxist journal of cultural and political comment and discussion published bi-monthly by the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). ALR commenced publication in 1966, its precursor the Communist Review. At the time I... Continue Reading →

Bernie Taft and 1968: Tanks in Prague, Turmoil in Australian Universities

  Friday 24 August 2018 Forum Theatre, Arts West, University of MelbourneIn August 1968, the Soviet Union sent troops into Czechoslovakia to end the liberalising regime of Alexander Dubcek; the incident and its aftermath became known as the Prague Spring. The events in the Soviet bloc were part of an international wave of uprisings and... Continue Reading →

VINTAGE RED

by Rowan Cahill There is a vast amount of material, published and otherwise, relating to the history of the Communist Party of Australia/CPA (1920-1991). Examination of the footnotes to Stuart Macintyre’s first volume of the history of the CPA, The Reds (1998), attests to this, as does familiarity with the two resource bibliographies of CPA... Continue Reading →

Another reason to #FundTrove: Communist Party of Australia material now digitised

Hatful of History

The first issue of 'Communist Review' after the ban was lifted by the Curtin Government on the magazine. The first issue of ‘Communist Review’ after the ban was lifted by the Curtin Government on the magazine.

It was recently announced that funding for the National Library of Australia’s digital database Trove was under threat due to the Turnbull government’s search for ‘efficiency dividends’. This has led to a large social media campaign by academics, archivists and general enthusiasts of history from across the globe to #FundTrove, with several petitions to maintain funding for the website.

As this blog seeks to keep you all informed of online material relating to the history of communism and the global left, I thought you would like to know that Trove’s newspaper archive has now digitised several publications of the Communist Party of Australia. This includes:

The Communist (weekly from 1921 to 1923)

The Workers’ Weekly (weekly from 1923 to 1939)

Communist Review (monthly from July 1941 to June 1943)

The…

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CFP FOR EDITED VOLUME ON HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN FAR LEFT

Hatful of History

CPA pamphlet

Evan Smith (Flinders University), Matthew Worley (University of Reading) and Jon Piccini (University of Queensland) are calling for chapter proposals for an edited volume on the Australian far left in the post-war era (1945 to the present). Expanding on our work looking at the history of the British far left, we believe that a survey of the exciting new work being done of the far left in Australia and its influence on wider Australian political history is due.

We are currently seeking chapter proposals on the following topics:

  • The CPA and Cold War espionage
  • 1956 for the Australian left
  • The peace/nuclear disarmament movement
  • The student left and the anti-Vietnam War movement
  • Radical Marxism since the 1960s (Trotskyism, Maoism, anti-revisionism)
  • Anarchism in Australia
  • ASIO and the new left
  • The left and Indigenous rights
  • The left and the women’s movement
  • The left and gay rights
  • The anti-apartheid movement in Australia
  • Nationalism…

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THANK YOU BILL: William Horace (Bill) Langlois

By Rowan Cahill*   William Horace (Bill) Langlois died in September 2015, aged 92. When I first met him, back in 1970, he was twenty-two years older than me, a time span that now, me writing at the age of 70, seems brief, but in the eyes and mind of the youth that was me... Continue Reading →

Bobbie Oliver on Australia’s Secret War by Hal Colebatch

Book Review: Hal Colebatch, Australia’s Secret War: How unionists sabotaged our troops in World War II (Quadrant Books, Sydney, 2013), 340pp, $44.95 hard back. By Bobbie Oliver I have always regarded with some scepticism books whose titles include words such as ‘Secret’ or ‘Untold’, because they bear the connotation that someone has deliberately obscured the... Continue Reading →

Melbourne University Archives: Communist Party collection lists now available

Finding aids for the Communist Party of Australia (Victorian Branch) collection at the University of Melbourne Archives are now available. The collection, "one of the most significant from the CPA held in Australia", spans much of the twentieth century. The collection is restricted and researchers will need prior approval from the  Search Foundation to use the files.... Continue Reading →

Olga Silver Remembered

By Carmel Shute A big crowd gathered in Clifton Hill on 30 January to pay tribute to veteran Melbourne communist, Olga Silver (18/12/1916 – 23/1/2015), who died at the age of 98 after a long illness. Olga was born a year before the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 but her life was very much shaped by... Continue Reading →

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