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Selected Works

Rowan Cahill

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Full-Text Articles in History

Tale Of A Manuscript, Rowan Cahill May 2019

Tale Of A Manuscript, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

An account of the origins, contexts, and fate of a 'lost' manuscript by Australian historian/civil libertarian Brian Fitzpatrick (1905-1965), produced during the early years of the Cold War, titled 'The Seamen's Union of Australia: A Short History'.


Review Of Port Kembla: A Memoir (2019) - A Local History That Captures The Diversity Of Australia, Rowan Cahill Apr 2019

Review Of Port Kembla: A Memoir (2019) - A Local History That Captures The Diversity Of Australia, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review of the book by Pam Menzies, 'Port Kembla: A Memoir', an account of the history of the industrial town of Port Kembla on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. In the process of reviewing the book, Cahill ruminates on the nature of 'local history' as a cultural industry in Australia, and as a democratic activity. 


The Far Left In Australia, Rowan Cahill Oct 2018

The Far Left In Australia, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review of The Far Left in Australia Since 1945, edited by Jon Piccini, Evan Smith and Matthew Worley (Routledge, 2019).


Rebel Roots.Docx, Rowan Cahill Apr 2018

Rebel Roots.Docx, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

A brief account of the role of Romain Gary's novel 'The Roots of Heaven' in the author's radicalisation in the 1960s.


Vintage Red.Docx, Rowan Cahill Sep 2017

Vintage Red.Docx, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review article based on the author's reading of the autobiographical novel by Stephen Moline, Red (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2017). The novel is discussed in the context of the historiography of the Communist Party of Australia.


End Of Paragraph, Rowan Cahill Aug 2017

End Of Paragraph, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

A tribute to the life and work of US journalist, author, soldier, script writer, leftist activist, Clancy Sigal (1926-2017), with particular reference to his novel/memoir Going Away (1962).


A Brush With Weimar Germany.Docx, Rowan Cahill May 2017

A Brush With Weimar Germany.Docx, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

A snippet of memoir regarding the 1960s, and the impact of historian Associate Professor Ernest K Bramsted (1901-1978) on the author during his undergraduate years at Sydney University (1964-1968).


Review: Sylvia Martin, 'Ink In Her Veins: The Troubled Life Of Aileen Palmer', (Crawley: Uwa Publishing, 2016)., Rowan Cahill Oct 2016

Review: Sylvia Martin, 'Ink In Her Veins: The Troubled Life Of Aileen Palmer', (Crawley: Uwa Publishing, 2016)., Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review of Sylvia Martin's study (2016) of Australian poet, Spanish Civil War veteran, WW11 Ambulance driver, translator, Aileen Palmer and her life and times. 


Review: Sylvia Martin, 'Ink In Her Veins: The Troubled Life Of Aileen Palmer', (Crawley: Uwa Publishing, 2016)., Rowan Cahill Oct 2016

Review: Sylvia Martin, 'Ink In Her Veins: The Troubled Life Of Aileen Palmer', (Crawley: Uwa Publishing, 2016)., Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review of Sylvia Martin's study (2016) of Australian poet, Spanish Civil War veteran, WW11 Ambulance driver, translator, Aileen Palmer and her life and times. 


The Barber Who Read History And Was Overwhelmed, Rowan Cahill Jul 2016

The Barber Who Read History And Was Overwhelmed, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Beginning with a chance encounter in a Barber's shop whilst travelling, the author ruminates on history, and the proposition that each and everyone of us is an historian, and that in a sense we are all time travellers. Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) is invoked, and the role of radical historians from below discussed before the author returns to his Barber shop encounter, and to Brecht. The title of the piece references Brecht's poem A Worker Reads History (1936).


Radical Academia: Beyond The Audit Culture Treadmill, Rowan Cahill, Terry Irving Oct 2015

Radical Academia: Beyond The Audit Culture Treadmill, Rowan Cahill, Terry Irving

Rowan Cahill

The pathos of radical academia: notes on the impact of neo-liberalism on the universities, especially the audit culture, the production-model, casualization, academic scholarship, academic writing, peer reviewing, and open access. The authors suggest ways scholars can be radical within, and outside, of neoliberal academia. Part I, 'Missing in Action' appeared as an Academia.edu session in May 2015, where it attracted many comments. Part II, 'What Can Be Done?' is the authors' response to these comments. The whole piece was posted on the Cahill/Irving blog 'Radical Sydney/Radical History' on 22 October 2015.


Review Of David Horner,'The Spy Catchers: The Official History Of Asio, 1949-1963', Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2014, Rowan Cahill Jul 2015

Review Of David Horner,'The Spy Catchers: The Official History Of Asio, 1949-1963', Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2014, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Critical review of the officially commissioned history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) published in 2014.


A Living Tradition, Rowan Cahill Jul 2015

A Living Tradition, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Discussion of the seminal work by R. W. Connell and T. H. Irving 'Class Structure in Australian History' (Longman Cheshire, 1980, 1992), and of the tradition of Marxist and class analysis in Australian intellectual life.


Words For Pam, Rowan Cahill Jun 2015

Words For Pam, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Words spoken by Rowan Cahill at the funeral of his wife, Pam Cahill, 24 June 2015.


Review: John S. Ahlquist And Margaret Levi, 'In The Interest Of Others: Organizations And Social Activism" (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2013), Rowan Cahill Apr 2015

Review: John S. Ahlquist And Margaret Levi, 'In The Interest Of Others: Organizations And Social Activism" (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2013), Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review of the comparative study of trade union organizational behaviour by John S. Ahlquist and Margaret Levi, 'In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism" (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2013), which involves a target group of US and Australian trade unions.


Revisiting A Struggle: Port Kembla, 1938, Rowan Cahill Mar 2015

Revisiting A Struggle: Port Kembla, 1938, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

A review and discussion of the 2015 documentary film 'Pig Iron Bob' (Producer/Director Sandra Pires). The focus of this film is the dramatic 2-month long boycott by Australian waterside workers in Port Kembla (NSW), 1938/39, of a cargo of Australian pig-iron bound for Japan. The workers took their action in protest against Japanese militarism and the Sino-Japanese War. The boycott enraged the conservative Australian government of the day which pulled out all stops to maintain its policy of appeasement towards Japan.


Radical History And Labour History, Terry Irving, Rowan Cahill Feb 2015

Radical History And Labour History, Terry Irving, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

This piece by Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill was published on their 'Radical Sydney/Radical History' blog (19 February 2015). It welcomes the Radical History Conference (London, 24 March 2015) and reflects on how the political heritage of labour, the original impulse for 'labour history', is energising a new generation of radical historians.


A Long Shadow, Rowan Cahill Nov 2014

A Long Shadow, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

An account of the author's grandfather's role in World War 1, its tragic peacetime aftermath, and the legacy of this during the 1960s.


Book Review: David Grant, 'Jagged Seas: The New Zealand Seamen's Union, 1879-2003' (2012), Rowan Cahill Oct 2014

Book Review: David Grant, 'Jagged Seas: The New Zealand Seamen's Union, 1879-2003' (2012), Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review of David Grant, 'Jagged Seas: The New Zealand Seamen's Union, 1879-2003' (Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2012). The reviewer co-authored a history of the Australian Seamen's Union (1872-1972) in 1981, and this review is sympathetic towards Grant's history, and makes a case for the ongoing production of worker/union histories.


Commons And Outlaws, Rowan Cahill Sep 2014

Commons And Outlaws, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review and discussion of Peter Linebaugh's 'Stop, Thief!' (PM Press, 2014), and Marcus Rediker's 'Outlaws of the Atlantic' (Beacon Press, 2014). The nature of 'radical history' is part of the discussion.


Confronting Anzackery, Rowan Cahill Sep 2014

Confronting Anzackery, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Review of the historical novel 'Brothers. Part One: Gallipoli 1915' by John Tognolini, an account of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign based on the experiences of Tognolini's uncles. The reviewer reads and treats the novel as an anti-war text.


Home Front Ww2: Myths And Realties, Rowan Cahill Aug 2014

Home Front Ww2: Myths And Realties, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

This is a revised version of the author's 2014 Brisbane Labour History Association Alex McDonald lecture. In this paper the author takes apart the right-wing accounts, particularly by Hal Colebatch ('Australia's Secret War, 2013), that demonise the Australian trade union leadership and the Communist Party of Australia for 'treasonous' industrial disputation during World War II.


Home Front Ww2: Myths And Realities, Rowan Cahill May 2014

Home Front Ww2: Myths And Realities, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Beginning with recent attempts by conservative interests to depict some Australian trade unions as having acted in 'traitorous' ways during World War 2 by engaging in activities that variously sabotaged the home front war effort, this lecture examines the claims, and the myth of the social solidarity of Australian society 1939-45.


The Radical History Of Sydney University: Student Activism In The 60s, Rowan Cahill Mar 2014

The Radical History Of Sydney University: Student Activism In The 60s, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

A personal account of radical activism at Sydney University during the 1960s by two activist/participants, Rowan Cahill and Terry Irving. The talk was part of the campaign by Sydney University students to mobilise for the National Rally for Education Rights held on 26 March 2014.


"Never Neutral": On Labour History / Radical History, Rowan Cahill Apr 2012

"Never Neutral": On Labour History / Radical History, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

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 ...


Review - Michael Tubbs, Asio: The Enemy Within, Rowan Cahill Apr 2012

Review - Michael Tubbs, Asio: The Enemy Within, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

ASIO: The Enemy Within is a combative book. Based on his research and experience, Michael Tubbs argues that the Australian Intelligence Security Organisation (ASIO) has no place in Australia’s democracy. According to Tubbs ASIO has, since its formation in 1949, acted as a partisan political secret police force, ridden roughshod over civil liberties, engaged in illegal activities, all with the aim of creating and managing a docile, tranquil public.


Review: People And Politics In Regional New South Wales, Rowan Cahill Apr 2012

Review: People And Politics In Regional New South Wales, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Histories of Australian towns and local areas abound, usually the work of enthusiastic local residents distributed through community based museum and historical society networks. Aimed at local audiences, these histories tend to be triumphalist, cataloguing ‘progress’ in terms of population changes and infrastructure growth. There is little in the way of explanation or analysis; local identities appear as a ‘cast of characters’ rather than as flesh and blood historical agents; politics is noticeably absent. For one state, the two volume People & Politics in Regional New South Wales, 1856 to 2006, addresses this political absence. Given the huge size of NSW ...


Review - Pete Thomas, And Greg Mallory (Editor), The Coalminers Of Queensland: A Narrative History Of The Queensland Colliery Employees Union, Volume 2: The Pete Thomas Essays, Rowan Cahill Apr 2012

Review - Pete Thomas, And Greg Mallory (Editor), The Coalminers Of Queensland: A Narrative History Of The Queensland Colliery Employees Union, Volume 2: The Pete Thomas Essays, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

In 1986 journalist Pete Thomas published the first volume of his proposed two-volume narrative history of the Queensland Colliery Employees Union, The Coalminers of Queensland. But he died before completing the task. With the support of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Mining and Energy Division (Queensland District Branch), labour historian Greg Mallory has edited Volume 2 from Pete’s unpublished manuscripts.


On Winning The 40 Hour Week, Rowan Cahill Apr 2012

On Winning The 40 Hour Week, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

The 40-hour week was approved by the Commonwealth Arbitration Court on 8 September 1947, to take effect from 1 January 1948. The 40-hour campaign, the 35-hour campaign that followed in the late 1950s, the 44-hour campaign that preceded these, and union attempts between all three to fix the working week at either 30 or 33 hours, were parts of a long movement for the codification and reduction of Australian working hours that began in the mid 1850s with struggles by workers to establish the principle of the 8-hour day. Stonemasons in Sydney and Melbourne gained the first successes during 1855 ...


The 1978 Military Occupation Of Bowral, Damian Cahill, Rowan Cahill Apr 2012

The 1978 Military Occupation Of Bowral, Damian Cahill, Rowan Cahill

Rowan Cahill

Early during the morning of Monday, 13 February 1978, a city council garbage truck stopped in Sydney’s George Street, outside the Hilton Hotel, to collect the weekend contents of an overflowing litter bin. Two council workers began to empty the bin, and as they did, a bomb hidden in it exploded, killing them both. A nearby policeman later died in hospital from injuries received, and seven other people were seriously injured. Inside the Hilton Hotel were eleven visiting heads of government—the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting (CHOGRM) was due to start in Sydney later that day. On ...