History of Australia

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vicent
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Mar 2 2014 23:41
History of Australia

Where can I find a good history of Australia from a libertarian/Marxy perspective?

thankyou!

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Standfield
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Mar 3 2014 01:00

Not very libertarian and/or Marxy I guess, but I really recommend the documentary series First Australians. It's widely available on torrent, and in two million parts on Yoochoob. You probably already know, but I'll mention it anyway, John Pilger's done a couple of good documentaries, like The First Australians Fight Back.

bastarx
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Mar 3 2014 03:11

Vicent as far as I know there is nothing substantial from a libertarian perspective. There is plenty of leftist (mainly Trot and left Labor plus a bit of Maoist) stuff with a particularly large output in the 60s and 70s.

You could try the four volume "A People's History of Australia since 1788" edited by Verity Burgmann and Jenny Lee although it's not a single narrative covering all of Australian history but rather a collection of chapters by over 70 different historians.

There are a lot of articles, mainly from a Cliffite perspective, here:

http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/interventions/

I hope that helps.

Hungry56
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Mar 3 2014 11:01

I only know of Leninist books:

A New Britannia - Humphrey McQueen. Sub-titled 'An argument concerning the social origins of Australian radicalism and nationalism'. By a Maoist.

Rebel Women in Australian Working-class History - by various Trotskyists.

1,2,3, What Are We Fighting For? - Mick Armstrong. On the student movement. By a Trotskyist from Socialist Alternative.

United We Stand: Class Struggle in Colonial Australia - Mick Armstrong, also from SAlt.

There are a couple of books on the Builders Labourers Federation, one by a member of SAlt which I didn't find useful and another one by Humphrey McQueen which I haven't read.

Radical Brisbane is a big book with photos by various Leninists. Very dry.

Leftist John Pilger has a few books - A Secret Country is good, worth reading just for the info and descriptions.

An anarchist I know wrote his uni thesis on the Brisbane Self-Management Group (70's group, council-communist-ish). PM me your email if you want a pdf of it.

Check the resources on the website of Brisbane Solidarity Network, there are some history articles/pamphlets on there.

While on this topic, I finally saw the movie Snowtown the other day. It's amazing. Extremely disturbing the first time you watch it, but it isn't gratuitous - it only shows one murder. It is disturbing because you are so wrapped up in the mental state of the youngest killer. The director's first movie and the first movie of most of the actors. It's great to see a movie about the underclass of the outer suburbs of Adelaide (I grew up in far southern suburbs and my father is a heroin addict (on methadone) so most of his mates were dealers, addicts, or schizophrenic, so I could relate).

vicent
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Mar 5 2014 02:34

Thanks! that is all very informative, yeah Snowtown is very disturbing stuff, in fact literally every Australian movie I have ever seen is incredibly disturbing.

bastarx
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Mar 5 2014 02:48

I never realised as a kid but having seen them again recently on TV Mad Max 1 & 2 both have a lot of gay villains in them. Check this out:

http://flatulenceofthegods.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/mad-max-filmshomoerot...

vicent
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Mar 5 2014 03:29

I definitely noticed that!

What I'm really looking for is an overview of 20th century Australian history in this size/style http://libcom.org/library/development-class-struggle-egypt

teh
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Mar 5 2014 06:38

There's homoeroticism in a lot of 1970's Australian "counterculture" movies like Mad Dog Morgan, The Cars That Ate Paris (the sheriff, if I remember correctly?)- which I'm certain inspired the Mad Max movies or the lawless gang element at least-, & Wake in Fright

Edit:...with the Mad Max movies coming at the tail end of the decade ('79).

bastarx
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Mar 5 2014 08:17
teh wrote:
There's homoeroticism in a lot of 1970's Australian "counterculture" movies like Mad Dog Morgan, The Cars That Ate Paris (the sheriff, if I remember correctly?)- which I'm certain inspired the Mad Max movies or the lawless gang element at least-, & Wake in Fright

Edit:...with the Mad Max movies coming at the tail end of the decade ('79).

Never seen any of those other movies but given that the original colony of Australia had 767 men and 222 women it's not surprising.

kuro
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Apr 1 2014 18:20

In terms of labour history, I found 'Strikes' by Douglas Blackmur useful. Anything by Deborah Bird Rose. Verity Burgmann, along with the 'Peoples history of Australia' also does a book on the history of the IWW in Australia. 'How the West was Lost' is a must see documentary.

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Steven.
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Apr 1 2014 18:03

Hey, would you be able to post that history of the Brisbane Self-Management Group to the history section here?

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Auld-bod
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Apr 1 2014 18:30

I’ve not seen many Australian films. The only one I’d truly recommend is ‘Ten Canoes’. It is described as ‘the first full-length feature film made entirely in indigenous Australian languages’. It is based in ‘the mythical past and deep into the Arafura swamp region as ten selected tribesmen set out on their annual goose egg hunt’. An unusual story, told by an old tribal elder and set long before the arrival of Europeans – magic, suspense and bawdy humour. Sorry no car chases.

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Lugius
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Apr 1 2014 22:56

See also 'Rocking the Foundations' about the BLF and the related 'Killing of Angel Street'

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Standfield
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Apr 1 2014 23:55

Interesting suggestions so far. I recommend Gordon Graham's play, The Boys as well. Another disturbing Australian piece of literature based on true events, it focusses not on the abduction and murder - you don't see it - but of the causes leading up to it, pointing the finger at society for failing both the victim and perpetrators.

Hungry56
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Apr 3 2014 12:22
Steven. wrote:
Hey, would you be able to post that history of the Brisbane Self-Management Group to the history section here?

I asked the author if he would post it as a library article, he said he will.

Aunty Jack
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Apr 14 2014 08:19

Revolutionary Industrial Unionism by Verity Burgmann is pretty great, although obviously comes nowhere near close to covering a broad sweep of Australian history.