The far left in Australia had significant effects on post-war politics, culture and society. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) ended World War II with some 20,000 members, and despite the harsh and vitriolic Cold War climate of the 1950s, seeded or provided impetus for the re-emergence of other movements. Radicals subscribing to ideologies beyond the Soviet orbit – Maoists, Trotskyists, anarchists and others – also created parties and organisations and led movements. All of these different far left parties and movements changed and shifted during time, responding to one political crisis or another, but they remained steadfastly devoted to a better world.
This collection, bringing together 14 chapters from leading and emerging figures in the Australian and international historical profession, for the first time charts some of these significant moments and interventions, revealing the Australian far left’s often forgotten contribution to the nation’s history.
Introduction: The history of the far left in Australia since 1945 – Jon Piccini, Evan Smith and Matthew Worley Part 1: Organisational Histories. 2. Australian Communism in Crisis: 1956 – Phillip Deery. 3. The Current of Maoism in the Australian Far Left– Drew Cottle and Angela Keys. 4. Breaking with Moscow: the Communist Party of Australia's new road to socialism – David McKnight, 5. ‘The "White Australia" policy must go’: The Communist Party of Australia and immigration restriction – Jon Piccini and Evan Smith Part 2: The 1950s and 1960s – In and out of the Cold War. 6. The Far Left and the Fight For Aboriginal Rights: The Formation of the Council for Aboriginal Rights (CAR), 1951 – Jennifer Clark, 7. How far left? Negotiating radicalism in Australian anti-nuclear politics in the 1960s – Kyle Harvey, 8. "1968" in Australia: The Student Movement and the New Left – Russell Marks Part 3: The 1960s and 1970s – The valences of Liberation. 9. Changing Consciousness, Changing Lifestyles: Australia’s Women Liberation, the Left and the Politics of ‘Personal Solutions’ – Isobelle Barrett Meyering, 10. Black Power and White solidarity: The Action Conference on Racism and Education, Brisbane 1972 – Lewis d’Avigdor, 11. The Australian Left and Gay Liberation: From 1945 to 2000s – Liz Ross, 12. Beating BHP: The Wollongong Jobs for Women Campaign 1980 – 1991 – Diana Covell Part 4: Mainstreaming the far left. 13.Halcyon Days? The Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union and the Accord – Elizabeth Humphrys, 14. Reading and Contesting Germaine Greer and Dennis Altman: the 1970s and Beyond – Jon Piccini and Ana Stevenson, 15. The Cultural Front: Left Cultural Activism in the Post-War Era – Lisa Milner
The series Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics has two areas of interest. Firstly, this series aims to publish books which focus on the history of movements of the radical left. ‘Movement of the radical left’ is here interpreted in its broadest sense as encompassing those past movements for radical change which operated in the mainstream political arena as with political parties, and past movements for change which operated more outside the mainstream as with millenarian movements, anarchist groups, utopian socialist communities, and trade unions. Secondly, this series aims to publish books which focus on more contemporary expressions of radical left-wing politics. Recent years have been witness to the emergence of a multitude of new radical movements adept at getting their voices in the public sphere. From those participating in the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, community unionism, social media forums, independent media outlets, local voluntary organisations campaigning for progressive change, and so on, it seems to be the case that innovative networks of radicalism are being constructed in civil society that operate in different public forms.
The series very much welcomes titles with a British focus, but is not limited to any particular national context or region. The series will encourage scholars who contribute to this series to draw on perspectives and insights from other disciplines.