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Labor's Conflict
Big Business, Workers and the Politics of Class


  • Date Published: January 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521138048

£ 32.00

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About the Authors
  • Once widely regarded as the workers greatest hope for a better world, the ALP today would rather project itself as a responsible manager of Australian capitalism. Labor's Conflict provides an insightful account of the transformations in the Party's policies, performance and structures since its formation. Seasoned political analysts, Tom Bramble and Rick Kuhn offer an incisive appraisal of the Party's successes and failures, betrayals and electoral triumphs in terms of its competing ties with bosses and workers. The early chapters outline diverse approaches to understanding the nature of the Party and then assess the ALP's evolution in response to major social upheavals and events, from the strikes of the 1890s, through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the post-war boom. The records of the Whitlam, Hawke, Keating, Rudd and Gillard governments are then dissected in detail. The compelling conclusion offers alternatives to the Australian Labor Party, for those interested in progressive change.

    • The first book that tells the story of the ALP from the beginning through to the Rudd/Gilliard era
    • Rejects the self-serving arguments of Labor and Coalition politicians, taking a controversial stand in the debates about the nature of the Labor Party
    • Provides a clear framework for understanding the ALP, outlines the history from the start and concentrates on recent developments
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In cutting through the lantana of egos, power games and betrayals, Tom Bramble' and Rick Kuhn's history of the Labor Party succeeds in rescuing a salutary story of political Australia that ought to be read by all generations.' John Pilger, award-winning journalist and documentary maker

    'A veritable tour de force. Not since Vere Gordon Childe's How Labour Governs, published nearly 90 years ago, has the ALP been subjected to such a searching analysis. This book raises serious questions not just about Labor but about the very dynamics of Australian society, and cogently demonstrates that class is far from a dead issue. It is a most worthy - and long overdue - companion volume to Childe.' Norman Abjorensen, political historian

    'This book is a no-holds-barred assessment of the ALP as a 'capitalist workers party' that stands in the way of any prospect for socialism in Australia. It is recommended reading for anyone wanting to understand the Labor tradition in Australia and a socialist critique of its limits.' Frank Stilwell, Professor of Political Economy, University of Sydney

    'A controversial and combative critique of Labor that fills a gap in the existing literature on the ALP.' Carol Johnson, Professor of Politics, University of Adelaide

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521138048
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Labor's love lost
    2. In the beginning
    3. Between the wars
    4. Hot war, cold war, split
    5. Labor after seventy years
    6. The Whitlam era
    7. Economic rationalism under Hawke and Keating
    8. Labor in the wilderness
    9. The Rudd-Gillard Government
    10. The Labor Party today: what's left

  • Authors

    Tom Bramble, University of Queensland
    Dr Tom Bramble is Senior Lecturer in industrial relations at The University of Queensland's Business School.

    Rick Kuhn, Australian National University
    Dr Rick Kuhn is Reader in political science at Australian National University's School of Politics and International Relations.

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