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A Perilous and Fighting Life

From Communist to Conservative

The Political Writings of Professor John Anderson

Edited by Mark Weblin

Maverick ‘freethinking’ philosopher John Anderson is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most significant intellectual figures. Now a new collection of Anderson’s political writings, most previously unpublished, promises to illuminate further the life and thought of this fascinating character.

For over three decades as a professor at the University of Sydney, Anderson attracted controversy, challenging what he saw as the ‘illusions’ of religion and nationalism. He publicly opposed all forms of censorship and indoctrination, and outraged Sydney clergy and conservative politicians.

A Perilous and Fighting Life  reveals the forces that drove Anderson’s restless political journey. A Marxist during the 1930s, and at one time a committed supporter of the Communist Party, the rise of Stalinism in Europe compelled Anderson to continually re-evaluate his allegiances and ultimately reject Communism.  By the 1950s Anderson had become a social and political ‘conservative’

This independent and perilous career is illustrated by his diverse legacy. Anderson’s rebellious ‘Free Thought Society’ later splintered into the Quadrant of Donald Horne and Peter Coleman on the Right, and the Left libertarian ‘Sydney Push’.

Author Mark Weblin completed his Phd at the University of New England on the place of John Anderson in the history of philosophy. He was a tutor in the Faculty of Social Inquiry, University of Western Sydney for four years.

ISBN:  186403 2480


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