February 23rd 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Something rotten led to fish-kill: perhaps fishy environmentalism

EDITORIAL Resistance grows to Beijing's soft-power push

CANBERRA OBSERVED Climate change: deadly ... to political leaders

TECHNOLOGY Electric cars: UK taxpayers subsidise rich greenies

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION A step too small?

CYBER SECURITY Chinese smartphone threat extends way beyond Huawei

SOCIETY Such grandeur of spirit

POLITICS John Hewson should have as sturdy a Constitution

FINANCE Hayne royal commission sets agenda for bank reform

FAMILY RELATIONS Dad: a girl's first and most influential love

COMMENTARY Words gone feral: rights and equality

MEDICINE AND CULTURE Book captures tragedy of falling foul of a fanatic

SOCIETY AND CULTURE A dog's life: reflections of a grey nomad

HUMOUR

MUSIC Serialism a killer: Ideas tend to get in the way

CINEMA Cold Pursuit: Revenge served up manic

BOOK REVIEW Why the West and nowhere else

BOOK REVIEW The escalation of horror and atrocity

LETTERS

FAMILY AND SOCIETY The end of Liberalism

Books promotion page

THE BANDAR LOG:
A Labor Story of the 1950s

Alan Reid

$34.95


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by Alan Reid

(Connor Court Publishing, Ballarat, 2015)
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN: 9781925138528
Price: AUD$34.95

 

Book description

Alan Reid was the Paul Kelly of his day and the Labor Split in the 1950s was probably the most far-reaching convulsion in Australian politics.

Hon Tony Abbott, from the Foreword

 

The Bandar Log: A Labor Story of the 1950s is a fictionalised recreation of the great Labor split of the 1950s. This schism in Labor’s ranks began in October 1954 when its erratic federal party leader Dr H.V. (“Doc”) Evatt denounced the perceived influence wielded over the party by the anti-communist Catholic activist B.A. (“Bob”) Santamaria. The resulting donnybrook involved personality clashes as well as ideological conflict. The messy saga featured a diverse array of participants including Catholic churchmen, trade union bosses, state premiers, state and federal Labor politicians, and assorted commentators and journalists. The characters appearing in The Bandar Log mirror, with varying degrees of faithfulness, these actual participants in the Labor Split.

Ross Fitzgerald and Stephen Holt, from the Introduction

 

The picture of politics and politicians that emerges from The Bandar Log is extraordinarily bleak. There is no room for principle. The whole business is irredeemably filthy and disgusting – a sewer. As Reid sees it, people involved in politics cannot help but be corrupt. Even those who begin with high principles are inevitably corroded and eaten away.

Laurie Oakes, from the Postscript

 

About the author

Alan Reid, nicknamed the “Red Fox”, was a political journalist, who worked in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery from 1937 to 1985. He is noted for his role in the Australian Labor Party Split of 1955, which is the subject of his novel, The Bandar Log, and his coinage of the term “36 faceless men” to describe the members of the ALP’s federal conference.


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