Splitting image

New title by Arthur Gietzelt
The landmark 1954-55 Labor Party split is re-examined in Splitting Image, a new book by the late Arthur Gietzelt, posthumously published by his family.

Arthur, who died in January 2014, was a key insider in the 'Great Split' and a strong supporter of the then leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party, Doc Evatt.

The book offers an important exposé of how Labor's left wing fought for the party's traditions and values against 'The Movement', the notoriously secretive organisation led by the Catholic layman B.A. Santamaria.

The Movement attempted to take over the party, an ambition that also caused ructions within the Catholic Church.

Arthur Gietzelt AO was a member and later secretary of the NSW Steering Committee, a life member of the ALP, and a member of the ALP National Executive from 1971, rising to Junior Vice-President in 1983 and Senior Vice-President in 1986. He was also the mayor of Sutherland Shire for nine terms, a Labor Senator, and the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in the Hawke government.

A friend of the Evatt Foundation, Arthur has written an avowedly participant account of the Split, and a memoir that will also stand as a historical document. ANU historian, Frank Bongiorno, has praised the work for providing 'a perpective on how a man of the Left understood these events, times and people'.

Splitting Image comprises 26 chapters, some 416 pages, and is extensively referenced and illustrated with many rare and valuable images. Copies can be purchased for $29.95 (including postage) from the Arthur Gietzelt website.

See also: