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The Far Left in Australia since 1945, edited by Jon Piccini, Evan Smith and Matthew Worley, London, Routledge, 2019, xiv + 186 pp., $49.99 (paperback), ISBN 9781138541580, $242 (hardback) ISBN 9781138043855 [Book review]
journal contributionposted on 22.05.2019, 00:00 by Benjamin Jones
With some 20,000 members at its peak in the 1940s, the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) was the largest manifestation of the post-war far left. But it was not the only game in town. Along with direct splinters from the CPA, the second half of the twentieth century saw the rise and fall of a range of parties, protest groups and student movements adhering to Maoist, Trotskyist, anarchist, pacifist, liberation and other ideologies. Edited by Jon Piccini, Evan Smith and Matthew Worley, The Far Left in Australia since 1945 highlights the diversity and assesses the legacy of Australian radicals. This book is a strong addition to the Routledge series Studies in Radical History and Politics. The anti-capitalists covered in this volume would have something to say about the A$242 price tag for the hardback version. While Abbie Hoffman’s advice would be to Steal This Book, the more reasonably priced paperback at $49.99 is also beautifully presented.