The Bandar-Log: A Labor Story of the 1950s
Alan Reid’s previously unpublished novel about the Labor Split
Edited by Professor Ross Fitzgerald
Introduction by Ross Fitzgerald and Stephen Holt
Foreword by Tony Abbott
Postscript by Laurie Oakes
Paperback, 360 pages,
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
– 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: A Labor Story of the 1950s 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
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 18 May, 2015.