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A Little History of the Australian Labor Party

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Acclaimed historians Nick Dyrenfurth and Frank Bongiorno tell the story of the Australian Labor Party’s rich history of more than 130 years and examine its central role in modern Australia.

The Australian Labor Party is one of the oldest labour parties in the world and the first to form a government. From the prime ministerships of Watson and Fisher to the tragedies of Hughes and Scullin, through the 1940s legends Curtin and Chifley to governments of Whitlam, Hawke, Keating, Rudd and Gillard, A Little History of the Australian Labor Party recounts times of triumph and failure, as well as resilience.

This updated edition examines Labor’s recent performance in state and territory politics and takes the national story up to the Albanese government.

‘Informative and insightful, the authors shrewdly marshal the key events, policies and personalities in Labor’s long and lively history to tell the compelling story of the party that has shaped Australia more than any other. I enjoyed it immensely.’ – Troy Bramston

‘The history of Australia’s Labor Party is the story of how ordinary men and women dreamed, organised, argued and raged to form a political movement that has weathered wars, depressions, financial crises, bitter splits, rivalries and betrayals, and yet forged great alliances to shape this country into a good and safe place to live. The story of Labor is the story of a nation that was not born on a distant battlefield, but in the homes and workplaces, pubs and halls where people gathered to make the world better. This enthralling, questing book is not just great Labor history, it is great Australian history.’ – Janet McCalman

'What this updated study so expertly condenses is the amazing story of a unique political beast – the ALP. Above all, it’s a ripping yarn with a gallery of heroes, larrikins, rats and hard-working true believers.' – Steven Carroll, Sydney Morning Herald / The Age