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What readers said about Radical Sydney...
"I just read an amazing book called Radical Sydney by Rowan Cahill and Terry Irving. It recounts Sydney's creative, political and Indigenous moments in time with great descriptions of buildings and streets we're all familiar with."-- Jesse Miller, Domain, 11 July 2017.

 "By extension, their (Irving/Cahill) objective speaks to what Walter Benjamin recognised as the need 'to make the continuum of history explode' by breaking the procession of the victors of history, embodied by their triumphal monuments of historical consciousness, and to re-establish the redemptive dimensions of social struggle that may speak to the present". --Adam David Morton, For the Desk Drawer, 9 April 2014.

"Perhaps what Radical Sydney does best, is remind us not to take our civil liberties for granted....(and) subtly permits us to rediscover our radical roots and champions our efforts to really make a splash".-Danielle, February 2012.

"It is only after reading Irving and Cahill's book that one realises the extent to which political dissent in Australia has been tamed."---Maurie MulheronIllawarra Unity, Volume 10, Issue 1, 2010/11.

"It is a quintessential 'people's history', framed by a humanist emphasis on people rather than structures, agents rather than agency, stories rather than narrative.....this lively, engaging book will encourage readers to explore the bibliography and investigate further".---Jeff RickerttAustralian Journal of Politics and History, March 2011.

"These tales of idealism, subversion, insubordination and uprising tell the story of Sydney that is rich and diverse in its development......Irving and Cahill have brought these stories to life in this meticulously detailed and lovingly assembled volume, and, in doing so, should give inspiration to a new generation of change-makers.---Chris Gambian, Journal of Industrial Relations, March 2011.

".....Radical Sydney is not just a fascinating alternative look at a part of Australia's history. It is also a timely argument in a discussion that is raging in newspapers in the country at the moment".---Ingeborg van TeeselingAntipodes, December 2010.

"...this is a project that seeks to rekindle a sense of wonder and exhilaration in labour history....radicals of today could do a lot worse than lose themselves in the pages that Irving and Cahill have compiled here."--Jeff SparrowLabour History, November 2010

"Tremendous stuff". --Sydney Alumni Magazine, November 2010

"This book is an education and a delight".--Janis BaileyThe Queensland Journal of Labour History, September 2010

Radical Sydney does an expert job at reminding us that Sydney has been indelibly shaped by movements, protests and incendiary upstarts of the past. Full of extraordinary details on everything from the gay pride movement on Oxford Street to the growth of black power in Redfern, Radical Sydney is an engrossing, well-researched study that rounds out the city’s more conventional histories.”--Johanna LeggattSun-Herald, 12 September 2010

"The characters of Radical Sydney are so diverse that the authors’ brief introductory overview could profitably have been longer and deeper. This work will appeal to overseas visitors browsing the shops at museums and galleries, to a popular readership hungry for racy anecdotes and to Sydney residents curious about their history."--Tony SmithAustralian Review of Public Affairs, September 2010

"Radical Sydney often reads like a conversation with a long lost friend describing their childhood and future all at once. It also shines a burning torch on the ruling class's dark secrets".--Sarah SchmidtSocialist Alternative, 10 August 2010

"History teachers will welcome this long overdue book......Copies of Radical Sydney should be in the Australian history section of every library and no history teacher should be without their own personal copy". --Desmond MooreEducation, 2 August 2010.

"Even though co-authors Irving and Cahill are both left-wing academics, this history is mercifully free of theoretical jargon and will be enjoyed by any reader interested in the subject".--Mandy SayerSydney Morning Herald, July 10-11, 2010.

"I am giantly into this book ... all about Sydney's dark and twisty past ... It makes me love Sydney even more."--Sarah, at

"...this book will not be warmly welcomed by the conservative commentators of the centre pages of the Sydney Morning Herald...or of The Australian......This is all the more reason to welcome it here." --Don AndersonAustralian Book Review, July 2010.

"Despite...shortcomings Radical Sydney is a very important work. It's well worth reading and is recommended".-- Peter MacThe Guardian, 21 Juy 2010.

"This book is a delight for anybody who agrees with ...the authors' editorialising about the evils of capitalism past and present....For Sydneysiders old enough to remember the last hurrah of street politics in the 70s it is fascinating, full of protest movement folklore".--Stephen MatchettThe Weekend Australian, July 3-4, 2010.

"....this original, lively 'people's history' will give you a greater appreciation of the radicals that made Sydney what it is today. Five out of five." --ChrisBetter Read Than Dead Bookstore, Newtown, Sydney, June 2010

"......superbly illustrated......this excellent book.........(is) interesting, revealing and crispily written..........(it) is a most enjoyable and illuminating history." --Ross FitzgeraldThe Weekend Australian, June 5-6, 2010.

[Referring to the spate of books about alternative-Sydney due for publication in June 2010] "...arguably the best of the bunch is Radical Sydney racily written by academics Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill...." -- John HuxleySydney Morning Herald, May 29-30, 2010.

"It took me by surprise, this hidden history of defiance, crazy idealism and the trashing of cop shops. It’s a Sydney of fabulous characters, some fresh from uprisings in Europe, determined to flick away the trappings of avarice and class. Today we are sleepwalkers, compared to these egalitarian-seeking bookworms and brawlers, who sure knew how to paint the town red." --Richard Neville, a founder of Oz (Sydney and London, 1960s), author and futurist.

"Sydney has long needed a people’s political history. This book begins to fill that gap." --John Pilgerjournalist and documentary filmmaker, winner of Sydney Peace Prize, 2009.

"The authors, with nearly fifty stories on “radical Sydney” have done a wonderful job of capturing the diversity and the spirit of Sydney over two hundred years." --Jack Mundey‘Green Ban’ pioneer and leader of the NSW Builders Labourers’ union.

"From the Venerable Boote to Mike Matteson and the bolt-cutters, the authors explore radical Sydney in rollicking and sometimes hilarious detail. Did you know that the first Women’s Weekly was printed on Australian Workers’ Union presses and that Merv Flanagan was killed by a scab in Camperdown during the 1917 General Strike? Why wasn’t this excellent book written ages ago?" --Hon. Dr Meredith Burgmannradical student activist, historian and Labor MP.