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Abstract

Penelope Debell is a very fine writer and a keen researcher, and she has drawn upon Elliot Johnston’s own extensive personal papers, on conversations with him and with many of his family and friends, and on files held by the biographers’ new best friend, ASIO, which had surveilled Elliot for 40 years. The result is an extremely well-written and lively account of how and why Elliot became a Communist, the first (known) member of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) to become a Queens Counsel, and later a Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia.

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