October 20th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Internal strife at Fortress ABC by Peter Westmore

EDITORIAL The state is separating children from families

CANBERRA OBSERVED Liberals are bare favourites for Wentworth

DEREGULATION Sugar growers are getting burned on churned-up playing field

EUROPE Attempt to discipline Hungary divides the EU

CHINA Social Credit System gives complete control of every citizen

EDUCATION Curriculum refinements will not fix schools

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION Banks' failures are a symptom of social malaise

HISTORY Moby Dick and American exceptionalism

SHAKESPEARE Tick-tock: clues to the timeless appear of the Bard

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Trump to UN: we'll do it our way; you do it yours

MUSIC Well-tempered scale: might put an alien in a bad temper

CINEMA Alpha: Beautiful beginnings

BOOK REVIEW Essays towards reconstruction

BOOK REVIEW Can society survive the decay of religion?

LETTERS

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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