"THE PAST BELONGS TO THE ENEMY” according to Humphrey McQueen, and if the intellectual and emotional maturity of the two books under review were in any way representative of the Australian Left, so would the future. But, of course they are not representative. The book on the New Left should have been sub-titled “Studies from a Dying Sub-Culture”. One is not exactly surprised to find that most of the contributors have changed their views a good deal since they composed their pieces. McQueen has not — he reproduces his peroration in the New Left collection almost word for word in the Penguin. He must have thought it was pretty good. And so it was, if you did not already know what the real temper and value systems of the average Australian were last century. There were several ways of knowing this. One was by being reasonably au fait with the Australian working class, which has changed very little in the last seventy years. Another was by possessing a passing acquaintance with research done as long ago as ten years before the appearance of this miscellany of other people’s labours.
Recommended CitationTeichmann, Max, Book Reviews: A New Britannia, Australian Left Review, 1(30), 1971, 73-80.