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Santamaria: Against the Tide


Recounting the memoirs of B. A. Santamaria, a leading Catholic politician in Australia between the late 1930s and the 1990s, this account presents an autobiographical sketch of the vision and aims of his Australian Catholic Social Movement — later rechristened the National Civic Council.

A close collaborator and friend of Archbishop Mannix this book is full of commentary on crucial aspects of Australian politics and Catholic Action. This is an indispensable primary resource for any scholar of Catholic social and political history of the period surrounding and following World War II.

Robert Milliken wrote in the Independent newspaper's Obituary in 1998 that:
"Santamaria's main crusade was against Communism, especially its spread among trade unions after the Depression of the Thirties. He was a conservative Catholic who enlisted the aid of the Church in his political activities. And, long after Communism had been purged from Labor politics, Santamaria remained a leading polemicist and social commentator, attacking other movements such as economic rationalism, feminism, gay rights and anything that threatened the sanctity of family life. His primary pulpit was a column in the Australian, a national newspaper, which he wrote for 33 years until he became ill from a brain tumour".

Paperback. 382 pp.

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