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Split: Australian Labor in the Fifties, The
The Split penetrates this confusion and with the aid of 'inside information' examines the complex series of events that led to this momentous breakdown.
The story of the split has its roots in the war years when the Communist Party of Australia was quietly building up its strength in the trade unions in the wake of the 'gallant ally' period of sympathy for Russia. By the post war years, however, ex-communists, dedicated Catholics, the ALP and trade union leaders all contributed to an intense anti-communist climate and to the formation of the ALP Industrial Groups.
The decision to form these groups created tensions and factions which affected all core institutions in the maze of Labor power centres - federal and state executives and conferences, the trades and labor councils, and the unions.
The split had run its course by the spring of 1957, but it left the Australian Labor Party seemingly permanently weakened and incapable of attaining office either nationally or in the worst affected states. Repercussions from this period have been felt ever since and now The Split explains the background in a dramatic narrative of intrigues, dedications and wheeler dealing.