100 Biographies are available in print only in the new book Comrades! Lives of Australian Communists which is available for pre-order here from the New International Bookshop.
There is only a limited print run, so don’t miss out - order now to ensure you get a copy of what will no doubt be a must-have for the bookshelves of all good comrades.
The biographies project has produced over 150 biographies of Australian communists - from Aarons to Zorino and plenty in between.
The book includes 100 biographies of Australian communists, listed below. Some people featured are more prominent than others. Some would otherwise be lost to history if this book wasn’t produced. Each one gives a fascinating insight into the activism of the 20th century, their passions, the struggles, the splits and the successes. Quite deliberately, half of the bios in the book are of women.
A further 50 more biographies will be posted here on the Communist biographies project tab on the SEARCH website progressively over the coming weeks. The first online-only bio, of Laurie Aarons, is up online now for everyone to read and share. If you would like to support this important project, as well as buying the book, it is very helpful to visit the Communist biographies project tab on the SEARCH webpage and share each bio via email and social media when it is published.
Also, please forward this link to your friends and networks. Profits from the book will go to supporting the Tribune digitisation project, which you can also donate to directly by going here.
The launch of the book took place at 6pm AEDT on Friday 30 October, at the online CPA Centenary celebration event.
The launch event featured a keynote by Reds author Stuart Macintyre, a toast by a former CPA member, Meredith Burgmann to launch the book and co-editor Bob Boughton in reply, all MC’d by Brian Aarons.
About the book:
This collection of biographies of 100 Australian communists celebrates the foundation of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) a century ago.
The CPA started small on 30 October 1920 but its members’ dedication and the course of world events made it a national, even international force.
They worked on the wharves, building sites, railways, factories, mines, shops and hospitals. Others were novelists, playwrights, filmmakers, and lawyers. Many were union officials. One was Australia’s only Communist Member of Parliament. Some were seared by World War, Depression, or the Cold War. Others were propelled by the social movements of the sixties and seventies and the struggles for peace, women’s liberation and gay rights.
What drew them together was their passion for a world without war, without divisions of race and class, for a society based on cooperation and shared wealth. They believed that ordinary people working together could change the world. The CPA was the first party to oppose the White Australia policy, to stand up against fascism, and to fight for Aboriginal rights. It was the first communist party in the world to condemn the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Its members imposed the world’s first Green Bans.
They helped build hundreds of social movement organisations through which people fought to have their say in the future. Their books, plays, films, art and songs helped create a uniquely Australian culture. Many were subjected to surveillance and repression, discrimination at work, and constant public attacks. Few were ever acknowledged in history books or the media.
To mark the centenary of the Communist Party of Australia, the SEARCH Foundation, in association with the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, is compiling short biographies of Australian communists. This selection of 100 will be supplemented by many more on the SEARCH website.
Edited by Bob Boughton, Danny Blackman, Mike Donaldson, Carmel Shute and Bev Symons, (Sydney: SEARCH Foundation and the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History).
RRP: $30 - release date: 30 October 2020
Here is the full list of the biographies and their authors which appear in the book.
Bill Earsman by Bob Boughton
Christian Jollie Smith by Bob Boughton
Jack Morrison by Ken Norling
Adela Pankhurst Walsh and Tom Walsh by Susan Hogan
Fred Paterson by Ross Fitzgerald
Nelle Rickie by Cathy Brigden
Topsy Small by Danny Blackman
Hettie Weitzel (Ross) by Danny Blackman
Idris Williams by Phillip Deery
Mary Wright (Lamm) by Danny Blackman
Tom Wright by Bob Boughton
Paul Yolkin by Mike Donaldson
Jean Blackburn by Craig Campbell
Betty Bloch by Cathy Bloch
Max Bound by Mike Donaldson
Neil Byron by Daren McDonald
Joe Carter and Jim McNeil by Mike Donaldson
Flo Davis (Cluff) by Danny Blackman
Ken Coldicutt by John Hughes
Noel Counihan by Peter Beilharz
Ruth Crow by David Nichols
Alan Finger by Ken Bridge
Bill Gollan by Scott Poynting
Joan Goodwin (Finger) by Carmel Shute
Oriel Gray by Michelle Arrow
Sylvia Harding by Daren McDonald
Phyl Harnett (Ophel) by Charlie Fox
Charlie Jarrett by Don Jarrett
Rupert Lockwood by Rowan Cahill
Dick Makinson by Bob Makinson
Aileen Palmer by Sylvia Martin
Ted Roach by Mike Donaldson
Olga Silver by Carmel Shute
Pete Thomas by Meredith Burgmann
Paddy Troy by Hazel Butorac
Joan Williams by Bobbie Oliver
Kath Williams by Danny Blackman
Hal Alexander by Bob Boughton
Kay Alexiou by George Zangalis
Shirley Andrews by Bob Boughton
Eva Bacon by Deborah Jordan
Jean Bailey by Margaret Penson
Jean Bowden by Therese Collie
Sally Bowen by Mike Donaldson
Mona Brand by Michelle Arrow
Jack Cambourn by Daren McDonald
Laurie Carmichael by Don Sutherland
Marie Crisp by Paddy McCorry
Barbara Curthoys by Ann Curthoys
Vera Deacon by Rod Noble
Lloyd Edmonds by Julie Kimber & Peter Love
Della Elliott by Rowan Cahill
Rivo Gandini by Pat Gandini
Gwen George by Bronwen Campbell
Helen Hambly by Heather Goodall
Joan Harrison by Paula Rix
Connie Healy by Therese Collie
Noreen Hewett by Rex Hewett
Alice Hughes by Therese Collie
Jack Hutson by Peter Love
Stan Irvine by Annette Brownlie
Elliott Johnston by Don Sutherland
Stanley Wei and the Chinese Branch of the A.C.P. by Drew Cottle
Tom McDonald by Beverley Symons
Don McLeod by Jan Richardson
Bernice Morris by Carmel Shute
Sonny Myles by Patricia Hovey
Ailsa O'Connor by Julie Copeland
Jeannie O'Connor by Therese Collie
Thelma Prior by Carmel Shute
Joyce Stevens by Judy Mundey
Wal Stubbings by Lesley Synge
Louise West by Beverley Symons
Roger Wilson by Alex Ettling & Diane Kirkby
Ralph de Boissière by Li Jianjun
Norma Disher by Margot Nash
Brian Dunnett by Roger Jowett
Judy Gillett-Ferguson by Patricia Ranald
Don Jarrett by Ken Bridge
Brian Manning by Julie Kimber
Audrey McDonald by Beverley Symons
Jack Mundey by Greg Mallory
Rex Munn by Don Jarrett
Ray Peckham by Mike Donaldson
Mavis Robertson by Bob Makinson
Yvonne Smith by Judy McVey
Bill Sutton by Phillip Edmonds
George Zangalis by Jock Collins
1960s and 1970s
Peter Barrack by Greg Giles
Rob Durbridge by Don Sutherland
Lance Gowland by Peter Murphy
Denis Kevans by Peter Earley
Marilyn (McCormack) Pittman by Jaquie Widin & Geoff Evans
Brian McGahen by Peter Murphy
Judy Mundey by Pam Hawkins
Merv Nixon by Peter Cockroft
Joe Owens by Verity Burgmann and Mike Donaldson
Pierina Pirisi by Simone Battiston
Nadine Williams by Deborah Durnan
Serge Zorino by Frank Panucci