In Our Time examines Australian loyalties to socialist agitators at the end of the nineteenth century and challenges the accepted versions of the social and political ferment which gave rise to the labour movement and its parliamentary expression, the Labor parties.
For many Australian working men and women in the closing days of the nineteenth century, SOCIALISM IN OUR TIME was no mere slogan. The deepening economic depression cut living standards, increased class conflict and tested the newborn trade unions to breaking point. In this climate, the message of socialist agitators made sense of the experience of the most vulnerable: capitalism was doomed, socialism was not only inevitable, it was imminent.
This is the story of a crucial time in the political history of Australia, told from the perspective of the agitators and their followers. By uncovering, state by state, the hitherto ignored faith and work of the 'tribunes of the people' and the organisations created by their working-class supporters, In Our Timechallenges the accepted versions of the social and political ferment which gave rise to the labour movement and its parliamentary expression, the Labor parties.