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Power Without Glory by Frank Hardy

Power Without Glory (1950)

by Frank Hardy

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Reviewed in the March 1954 issue of the Socialist Standard:

  Impossibilist | Dec 26, 2017 |
"Power without glory" is generally considered to be one of the great Australian novels, and you would get no argument from me on that. Upon release, it also proved to be one of the most controversial Australian novels as “Power without glory” is apparently closely based on the life of John Wren (named John West here) from working class poor in suburban Melbourne to his rise to become one of Victoria’s richest and most powerful men through a series of controversial and illegal actions.

While the writing seems to be less than poetic at times, Hardy captures the essence of Australian culture in the first half of the Australian century in a way that few, if any, novels have before or since. And that's why it's considered a great Australian novel. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Aug 8, 2015 |
Out of fashion now, as a 'politically correct polemicist', Hardy wrote a sweeping novel froma leftist point of view, about how power corrupts, working clas politics and the Catholic church in early 20th century Melbourne.

Recommended. ( )
  saliero | Jun 9, 2007 |
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be living near to truth'
- Horace
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Introduction: Many novelists have caused scandals or uproars by dragging out into the light of day various aspects of life which the conventional morality of the period or strong vested interests wanted to keep hidden away. ... but no novel has had such a violent and tempestuous career, at every moment of its writing, printing, and initial publication, as Frank Hardy's Power without Glory.
Chapter One: One bleak afternoon in the winter of 1893 a young man stood in the doorway of a shop in Jackson Street, Carringbush, a suburb of the City of Melbourne, in the colony of Victoria.
The Australian Labor Party degenerated into a machine for capturing political power, and when it got that power it did not know how to use it except for the benefit of individuals. - Professor V. G. Childe
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Based on the life of John Wren.

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