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Communist Party of Australia Communist Party of Australia i(A64928 works by) (Organisation) assertion (a.k.a. CPA)
Born: Established: 1920 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 1991
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The Communist Party of Australia was a major publisher 'from 1920 until its dissolution in 1991'. Initially it concentrated on the publication of a weekly newsletter and the sale of imported books and ephemera (MacIntyre, p.51). It subsequently produced numerous newspapers and broadsheets, many of which were produced on its own presses. Even when the Party was an illegal organisation from 1940-1943, it maintained its newspaper publication using small presses.(p.52)

In 1933, the imprint Modern Publishers was established for the purpose of republishing Marxist Leninist literature; it also extended its brief to publish fiction such as Jean Devanny's Sugar Heaven. (p.52)

The Party's focus on education was served by the publication of training manuals and 'cheap editions of Marxist classics'. It also fostered other literary publications many of 'which appeared under the imprint of Current Book Distributors'. (p.53)

The Communist Party was 'an extraordinarily avid user of print', surpassing the Australian Labor Party in its print output. Even after its publishing heyday in the 1920s to the 1950s, the Party continued to publish bulletins and other ephemera until the early 1990s.

See Beverley Symons's Communism in Australia: A Resource Bibliography published in 1994, which 'attests to the prolificness of Communist writers and readers'. (p.54)

Source: Stuart MacIntyre, 'Case-study: The Communist Party as Publisher' in A History of the Book in Australia 1891-1945: A National Culture in a Colonised Market, Martyn Lyons and John Arnold eds, UQP, St Lucia, 2001, pp.51-54.

Also see: Joyce Stevens, Taking the Revolution Home: Work Among Women in the Communist Party of Australia: 1920-1945, Sybylla Co-operative Press, Fitzroy Vic., 1987.

Most Referenced Works


  • The party's publications were generally published under the auspices of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia.

Last amended 6 Jul 2016 08:01:32
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