Under the imprint of Leftbank Press and the ASSLH, the Society publishes books and conference proceedings. Our books are available for purchase in both hardcopy format and as ebooks through Amazon. Leftbank Press (formally Leftbank Publishing) was founded in 2007. Publications, unless otherwise stated, are peer reviewed, and subjected to double blind refereeing. Our catalogue includes:



Fighting Against War: Peace Activism in the Twentieth Century

Fighting Against War FINAL CoverThroughout the twentieth century, labour movement activists have been in the forefront of challenges to war and militarism. With a particular emphasis on the First World War this book seeks to restore their role to our historical memory. Contributors include Karen Agutter, Anne Beggs-Sunter, Robert Bollard, Verity Burgmann, Liam Byrne, Lachlan Clohesy, Rhys Cooper, Carolyn Holbrook, Nick Irving, Chris McConville, Douglas Newton, Bobbie Oliver, Carolyn Rasmussen, Phil Roberts, and Kim Thoday. Abstracts can be read on the book’s webpage.

Fighting Against War can be purchased as a fixed eBook from Amazon; hard copies can be purchased from Readings.


The Time of Their Lives: The Eight Hour Day and Working Life

Time of Their Lives FINAL COVER

On 21 April 1856 Melbourne building workers won an industry-wide agreement to establish the Eight Hour Day. In the 150 years since then the slogan ‘Eight Hours Labour, Eight Hours Recreation, Eight Hours Rest’ has symbolised workers’ efforts to take control over the time of their lives and, in doing so, strike an equitable balance between work, rest and play. It was an assertion that they were not simply ‘operatives’ in a labour market, but also family members and citizens in what they hoped could become a civilised community. This book offers historical perspectives on that continuing campaign, to give readers a long-term context for our current debates over the work/life balance and power in the workplace. Contributors to The Time of Their Lives include: Margo Beasley, Lyn Beaton, Drew Cottle, Angela Keys and Helen Masterman-Smith, Charles Fahey and John Lack, Patricia Grimshaw, Nell Musgrove and Shurlee Swain, Claire Higgins, Rob Hitchcock, Julie Kimber and Peter Love, Ben Maddison, Val Noone, Bobbie Oliver, Mikael Ottosson and Calle Rosengren, Jeff Rich, Kerry Taylor, and Barbara Webster. Abstracts can be read on the book’s webpage.

Time of Their Lives can be purchased in hard copy format from the Melbourne Branch, or as a fixed eBook from Amazon.


Basket Weavers and True Believers: Making and unmaking the Labor Left in Leichhardt Municipality, c.1970-1991

BW_COVER 2016In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of people sought membership of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) branches of the inner-Sydney municipality of Leichhardt. These were people whose politics had been shaped by the social movements of the times and by the hopes and disappointments associated with the Whitlam Government. The political clashes between this Left-leaning new membership and the conservative working class, and working-class made-good, patriarchs of the local Labor Right have become legendary. Yet as the fruits of victory were in reach, the Left began to fall apart in often bitter conflict. By the beginning of the 1990s many of these participants, in what has sometimes been called the “middle-classing” of Labor, had deserted the branches and switched their political allegiance to independents, Democrats and the Greens. This is the story of this turbulent transition told from the point of view of the members at the branch level, and the ALP political life they sought to construct. As the Australian Labor Party struggles with its identity and purpose at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Basket Weavers and True Believers provides a timely case study of the recent making, and unmaking, of the Labor Left.

Basket Weavers and True Believers can be purchased as a hard copy from the Melbourne Branch or as a fixed eBook from Amazon. Read a review of the book here.


Conference Proceedings


Proceedings of the 14th National Labour History Conference

Proceedings of the 14th Labour History Conference FINAL Cover

These proceedings carry some of the papers delivered at the 14th Biennial Labour History Conference, 11-13 February 2015. Titled Fighting Against War: Peace Activism in the Twentieth Century, the conference was held at the University of Melbourne. Available from Amazon as a fixed eBook, or as a pdf from our conference pages.


Labour Traditions: Proceedings of the 10th National Labour History Conference

The Proceedings of the 10th National Labour History Conference are available for download as a fixed eBook from Amazon or via our conference pages as a pdf.  The Conference was held at the University of Melbourne in 2007. The proceedings carry thirty-three papers on a wide range of topics grappling with the theme of “labour traditions”.

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