New book: The barber who read history

New book by Rowan Cahill and Terry Irving

The barber who read history: Essays in radical history

(Bull Ant Press, 2021)

In these essays, Cahill and Irving demolish the audit culture of the neo-liberal/managerialist university; they exhort the new generation of radical scholars to look outside the universities for their field of writing/publication/action; they define radical history and discuss the work of some of its past and present practitioners; they show that labour history grew out of intellectuals within the labour movement, and argue that labour history should re-invent itself as working class history; and they provide examples of their recent ‘radical history’ work. Readers will also find autobiographical portraits of each of the authors.

Rowan Cahill has worked as a farmhand, teacher, freelance writer, and for the trade union movement as a publicist, historian, and rank and file activist. Currently an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wollongong, he has published widely in trade union, social movement, and academic publications. He is working on a memoir of the sixties, Crucible Days: Memoirs of a Cold War Kid.

Terry Irving, radical historian and educator, writes on colonial workers’ movements, Australia’s class structure, youth movements and policy, labour intellectuals, and radical democracy. His latest book is The Fatal Lure of Politics: The Life and Thought of Vere Gordon Childe (Monash University Publishing, 2020). He is currently an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong.

Available: New International Bookshop, Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton, Victoria, 3053, Australia.

Available: Terry Irving’s website:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s