For more than 30 years Laurie Short was known and respected as the responsible, dedicated, and incorruptible leader of one of Australia's biggest and most important trade unions. But the story of his battle to attain this position has never before been told.
It is the story of one man's epic struggle to change the leadership of the Federated Ironworkers' Association - the 'reddest' of red unions in Australia in the 1940s. It captures the tension of a dramatic time in Australian industrial history - the Communist/anti-communist union battlesof the late 1940s and early 1950s. Based on exhaustive research, the book gives a graphic account of those struggles - a story of bashings, rigged ballots and historic court cases which saw the young John Kerr and Jim McClelland as the start of their legal careers.
Susanna Short also gives us an account of the founding and influence of one of the most extraordinary political movements in Australia - the Trotskyist movement of the 1930s.