Article Title

"Never neutral": on Labour history / radical history


Eric Fry, one of the founders of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (ASSLH), wrote about radical history in the ‘Introduction’ to his neglected Rebels & Radicals (1983). The book is not listed in Greg Patmore’s comprehensive listing of labour history publications (1991), rates no mention in the 1992 tribute to Fry’s work edited by Jim Hagan and Andrew Wells, and receives only brief mentions in the Labour History tribute issue to Eric Fry and fellow ASSLH pioneer Bob Gollan (2008). Arguably with good reason, since the book was exploring a different way of writing dissident history, one not in accord with the traditional practice of academic labour history as it developed in Australia, but in accord with the “broadness of scope and orientation” of labour history envisaged by Fry and Gollan as early as 1961 in the early days of the ASSLH.