University of Otago Otago University Press
The Press     Books & Authors     Landfall     Journals    Kiwi Phonics
News & Reviews     Author Information     Orders

  » Home > Books & Authors >

'Rats and Revolutionaries'
The Labour Movement in Australia and New Zealand 1890-1940

'Rats and Revolutionaries'. The Labour Movement in Australia and New Zealand 1890-1940. James BennettBy James Bennett

Australia and New Zealand are closely connected by both geography and history. One cultural quality they share is a fixation on what lies to the north, and a 'reciprocal amnesia' about their near neighbours. Few historians in either country have examined the shared history.

In this book, James Bennett looks at the labour movement in the two countries during the period when it was emerging. It formed almost a 'trans-Tasman world of labour', with individuals and institutions making 'trans-national' connections, entering each other's realm through strikes, compulsory arbitration, industrial organisation, conscription and the Depression. He also paints a more general picture of common experience, with the rise of labour movements in each country at the end of the nineteenth century, inspired by northern hemisphere ideas and individuals, and the election of labour governments in the twentieth century.


1 Strikes, Depression and Trans-Tasman Organisation
2 Whites-Only Policy
3 Compulsory Arbitration and Ideological Divisions
4 The Path to Industrial Warfare
5 Conscription, 'Sedition' and Revolution
6 Communist Party Relations and International Connections
7 Australasian Patterns of Industrial Organisation
8 The Depression and Protest
9 Labour Parties, Orthodoxy and the Depression
10 Radicalism and Political Dissent
11 Reinventing Labour

About the Author

James Bennett teaches history and film in the School of Humanities, University of Newcastle, Australia. He is a New Zealander and a graduate of Canterbury University and the University of Melbourne.

Publication details

ISBN 1 877276 49 9, paperback, 230 x 150mm, 192 pages, $39.95
Otago History Series
Release: October 2004