Book review: ‘Radicals’ – struggle between the lines pushed things forward

Here is my review of ‘Radicals’ by Meredith Burgmann and Nadia Wheatley, just published in the Melbourne Labour History Society’s newsletter ‘Recorder’ (July 2021, No 301).

3 thoughts on “Book review: ‘Radicals’ – struggle between the lines pushed things forward

  1. Glad you wrote this review.

    I’m still stuck on not reading without having managed to write about pandemic.

    Hope to be able to add some comments on the book and/or its topic when the Melbourne book launch is scheduled again. But cannot do so now.


  2. Thank you for this review. I remember the Sixties very well and I was most certainly there. I have resisted reading this book, not because I am not in it, but because the Left was so divisive and precious: factionalism was pervasive and competitive. I’m not sure if the Percy boys are in ‘Radicals’ but to my mind they were the most radical of the lot. Bob Gould’s bitter review of John Percy’s book is an example of this interfactional jealousy and hostility. I suppose there will be other people “left” out of ‘Radicals’ who should be there but have been omitted because they weren’t part of the clique.


    • Thanks for your comment. My view is that it’s important to separate out the ideological positions, which were sometimes antagonistic, from the unavoidable stuff such as personality clashes, usually stemming from jealousies. The term ‘factionalism’ needs exploration. Legitimate struggle against reactionaries within the movement was bigger and more important than factonalism but is frequently described as such these days. Just my opinion.


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