War on the wharves

War on the wharves: a cartoon history

Edited by Christopher Sheil with a foreword by Bob Ellis

A strictly limited number of copies of this classic are still available.

The Easter 1998 waterfront dispute shook Australia to its foundations. With larrikin wit, the country's leading cartoonists rose to the occasion, tapping into the national psyche to create these extraordinary drawings. One of the most popular books Evatt has produced, War on the Wharves is published by Pluto Press and features 186 illustrations by Australia's great political cartoonists: Alan Moir, Ron Tandberg, Peter Nicholson, Bill Leak, Bruce Petty, Michael Leunig, Geoff Pryor, Ward O'Neil, Sean Leahy, David Rowe, Rod Clement, Mark Knight, Jenny Coopes, Dean Alston, Phil Somerville, Mark Cornwall, Rod Emmerson, David Messer, John Spooner, John Wright, Rocco Fazzari, Michael Fitzjames, Sturt Krygsman and Amanda Upton.


Walkley award winning cartoon by Clement‘We need to be reminded of these things, and these great illustrations, like tattoos on the brain, will keep us vigilant, and careful of our rights, and mindful of our enemies, in the interesting days and nights ahead.’
- Bob Ellis, from the foreword to War on the Wharves.

‘If you want the full story on the wharf dispute, with humour and with the facts, this book is it. The narrative on the war is incisive, and the cartoons penetrate the propaganda.’
 - Greg Combet, Secretary, ACTU.

‘If a picture tells a thousand words, then this cartoon history of the war on the waterfront is 186,000 of the most damning words only wit could provide. This is not merely a description of the great Dubai, docks and dogs dispute. It is a scathing satire of duplicity and conspiracy; a documentary of a momentous class battle which will go down in history next to the Eureka Stockade. It is a good read, a great compilation, and an essential reference for any student of industrial history.’
 - John Coombs, Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia.

‘The wharf dispute of 1998 was as dramatic and as important as the earlier maritime disputes of the 1890s and 1930s. Like them, it marked a rallying point for Australian workers in the defence of their rights. A visual record of an epochal event.’
- Stuart Macintyre, Ernest Scott Professor of History, University of Melbourne.

‘War on the Wharves: A Cartoon History provides a very readable and accessible account of what many regard as a watershed dispute in the history of Australian industrial relations ... This volume is testimony to and a celebration of Australia's fine tradition of cartooning.’
- Braham Dabscheck, Journal of Industrial Relations.

‘This is a valuable collection, a good historical text, a great laugh, and a testimony to the fact that political cartoons can and do make a difference.’
- Fiona Katauskas, Arena.

‘We took part in it. We're waiting for the film. In the meantime, we have the book.’
Manifest, Magazine of the Australian Services Union.

‘For one of the great struggles of 1998, have a look at War on the Wharves.’
- Hard Hat, Journal of the CFMEU.

‘A good read and more than a few good laughs.’
- Charles Richardson, Policy, Journal of the Centre for Independent Studies.

‘It is a professional documentary history, all of the illustrations are thoroughly referenced and a chronology of the dispute is included.’
Comic Edge.

War on the Wharves should be celebrated as an important document of union history.’
- Workers Online.


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