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The End of an Affair: Intellectuals and the Communist Party 1956 - 1959

McLaren, John (2003) The End of an Affair: Intellectuals and the Communist Party 1956 - 1959. Journal of Australian Studies, 27 (78). pp. 71-82. ISSN 1444-3058


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At least as far back as the seventeenth century, left-wing politics have been characterised by bitter internecine disputation and disruption. Stuart Macintyre has shown how the founding meeting of the Communist Party of Australia in April 1920 was itself part of a squabble going on between elements of the Australian Socialist Party and associates of the NSW Labor College. The Party supposedly formed at this meeting had split into two by December in the same year.1 Earlier splits in the Communist Party, in Australia and Europe, were usually the consequence of either an intra-Party power struggle or personal disillusion with the Party.2 The resignations and expulsions that occurred in the Australian Party between 1956 and 1958 however differed from these earlier splits. The people who left the Party at this time were not seeking power within it, and were not disillusioned with communism as such. Indeed in many cases they renewed their commitment to its aims. Rather, they were responding to international events by attempting to redefine the nature of the Communist movement.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID6355, Communist Party of Australia, CPA, political party, leadership
Subjects: Historical > RFCD Classification > 360000 Policy and Political Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
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Depositing User: Mr Angeera Sidaya
Date Deposited: 29 May 2006
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:59
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Citations in Scopus: 2 - View on Scopus

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