Author(s): Mark Aarons
'It is a fascinating tale of love and passion, courage and perfidy, ambitions and progressive politics, told against a background of world and national events.' - The Hon. Michael Kirby, Past Justice of the High Court of Australia Mark Aarons comes from Australia's leading activist family- his father, uncle, grandmother and grandfather were leaders of the Communist Party of Australia. As a result, the Aarons were the most monitored family in Australian history. Recently, Mark Aarons obtained access to his family's ASIO files, which fill a whole room at the National Archives. They present one version of his family's public and private life - his own and his family's is very different. In The Family File, Aarons sheds new light on spy rings and dissent in Australia. This is the definitive book about communism in this country. Aarons offers groundbreaking revelations of strikes, secret party members, Soviet and Chinese influence, and more. He counterpoints what ASIO saw with what was really happening. He discusses how it felt to be under constant surveillance. In an intimate and honest way, he reflects on communism and its legacy, and conjures up what it was to be a radical in Australia in eventful times.
"The Family File is a fascinating tale of love and passion, courage and perfidy, ambitions and progressive politics, told against a background of world and national events. There are lots of surprises, including the discovery of an unexpected supporter amongst Australian spy-catchers and a near-death confession of human love with the admission that much of the struggle involved the 'self-delusion of revolutionary heroism'. For every page that discloses the autocratic rule of Moscow and the despotism of its minions, there are many more stories of progressive politics in Australia: workers' rights, anti-apartheid, indigenous entitlements, feminism, opposition to the Vietnam War, green bans, East Timor independence, and Australian nationalism." --The Hon. Michael Kirby, Past Justice of the High Court of Australia
Mark Aarons is the author of several books, including War Criminals Welcome. He worked as an ABC broadcaster and investigative documentary producer from 1973 until 1990 and has written many feature articles for Australia's leading newspapers. From 1996 to 2006, he was a senior advisor to the NSW Labor government. He has also been a long-term activist in the East Timorese cause.