If you were young and energetic and a believer in a range of progressive causes, Melbourne in the first three decades of the twentieth century was an exciting place. It was even better if you were in love.

Doris Hordern and Maurice Blackburn, the joint subjects of Carolyn Rasmussen’s deeply researched and absorbing new biography, understood each other’s dedication to radical politics from the time they met in February 1913, introduced by the influential leftwing journalist and propagandist Henry Hyde Champion. Maurice, the chief support of a widowed mother, was struggling to make a living as a barrister, mostly for unions and workers: as he told Doris, he ‘could not shut his eyes to suffering and oppression’. Doris, trained as a teacher, was also Vida Goldstein’s campaign secretary in the latter’s unsuccessful bid to enter federal parliament as an independent in 1913. Doris was chronically suspicious of marriage, declaring, ‘I do not trust men as I do most women.’ Nevertheless, after an eighteen-month engagement they married with very little money at the end of 1914.

Additional Info

  • Free Article No
  • Custom Article Title Jacqueline Kent reviews The Blackburns: Private lives, public ambition by Carolyn Rasmussen
  • Contents Category Memoir
  • Custom Highlight Text

    If you were young and energetic and a believer in a range of progressive causes, Melbourne in the first three decades of the twentieth century was an exciting place. It was even better if you were in love. Doris Hordern and Maurice Blackburn, the joint subjects of Carolyn Rasmussen’s deeply researched ...

  • Book Title The Blackburns: Private lives, public ambition
  • Book Author Carolyn Rasmussen
  • Author Type Author
  • Biblio Melbourne University Press, $44.99 hb, 400 pp, 978022874457

During the 1960s and 1970s, student radicals protested that their places of learning were getting too close to industry and government. In 1970, Monash University students occupied the university’s Careers and Appointments Office to oppose the use of the university as a recruiting ground for companies profiting from the Vietnam War, and to protest its outreach to industry in the ill-fated Monash University Scientific and Industrial Complex. Universities could not pretend to be dedicated to truth and free enquiry, students argued, while operating hand in glove with capitalism and the ‘military-industrial complex’ that they ought to be critiquing.

Additional Info

  • Free Article No
  • Custom Article Title Kate Murphy reviews 'Shifting the Boundaries: The University of Melbourne 1975–2015' by Carolyn Rasmussen
  • Contents Category History
  • Custom Highlight Text

    During the 1960s and 1970s, student radicals protested that their places of learning were getting too close to industry and government. In 1970, Monash University students occupied the university’s Careers and Appointments Office to oppose the use of the university as a recruiting ground for companies ...

  • Book Title Shifting the Boundaries
  • Book Author Carolyn Rasmussen
  • Book Subtitle The University of Melbourne 1975–2015
  • Author Type Author
  • Biblio Miegunyah Press, $49.99 hb, 411 pp, 9780522872460