Posts Tagged ‘McQueen’

The life and work of Humphrey McQueen

March 9, 2004

Self-employed socialist intellectual

Bob Gould

Never trust Tories bearing gifts

There is a tradition in academia of dedicating to veteran or retiring scholars a “feschrift”, which is usually a collection of essays by other scholars about the scholar’s chosen field and their contribution to it. Humphrey McQueen has done his prolific and wide-ranging intellectual work mainly outside academe, and is a self-employed freelance historian and journalist, so he has no institution to give him a feschrift, but some of his writing is available on the web, so Ozleft has put together a list of this material as a kind of virtual feschrift. This is not to suggest that Humphrey may be about to retire, as he shows no sign of running out of intellectual steam and he has no great pot of superannuation to live on in any case. In fact, circumstances have made him into John Howard and Peter Costello’s ideal citizen: he is forced both by economic necessity and by the passionate nature of his intellectual activity to work on past the standard retiring age — although the serious products of his work are not likely to please Howard and Costello at all.

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Afterword to the 1968 edition of A New Britannia

January 18, 2004

Humphrey McQueen

The argument in A New Britannia went like this: from the convicts of the 1780s through to the unionists of the 1890s, there had been a mounting experience in Australia of individual advancement and racial hatred. Those social forces combined in the Labor Party which, therefore, could never be a socialist organisation. In short, a hundred years of history had set the nature of the new body before its birth.

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