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Power Without Glory Power Without Glory caused a sensation when it was released, leading to a famous court case It is a thinly veiled description of the rise to power of real life figure John Wren in the book 'John West'Some other people alluded to in the book include Tommy Bent, Sir Samuel Gillott, the gangster Squizzy Taylor and Archbishop Daniel Mannix In the history of Australian literature few books have been so controversial than Frank Hardy's Power Without GloryThis is a tale of corruption stretching from street corner SP bookmaking to the most influential men in the landand the terrible personal cost of the power such corruption brings John West rose from a Melbourne slum to dominate Australian politics with bribery, brutality and fear His attractive wife and their children turned away from him in horror Friends dropped away At the peak of his power, surrounded by bootlickers, West faced a hatefilled nationand the terrible loneliness of his lifeWas John West a real figure? For months during the postwar years, an Australian court heard evidence in a sensational libel action brought by businessman John Wren's wife After a national uproar which rocked the very foundations of the Commonwealth, Frank Hardy was acquitted This is the novel which provoked such intense uproar and debate across the nation The questions it poses remain unanswered


10 thoughts on “Power Without Glory

  1. Dillwynia Peter Dillwynia Peter says:

    Time can be cruel regarding public memory and scandal. Power Without Glory had to be written in secret and self-published, and yet it still landed the author in gaol. This is a thinly disguised biography of the Melbourne identity John Wren. What time has done is make people who were well known in the 1920s to 1940s in both Federal and Victorian


  2. Owen Owen says:

    This is one of the most powerful novels to have come out of Australia. With very little attempt at disguise, it tells the story of an Australian mobster who ruled a network of criminal activity for several decades before the Second World War. It is a brutal story and one that somehow touches on an aspect of Australian history which is hardly ever


  3. Joey Diamond Joey Diamond says:

    Well this was quite a ride.

    1st Third: pretty great read. Early days in Collingwood/Richmond, the tote shop.. Lots of good characters and West is still vaguely relatable.

    2nd Third: alright, well it's slowing down with all the details of his many scams but the stuff about the start of the Labour Party is pretty good.


  4. Paul Guiton Paul Guiton says:

    I was given this book for Christmas in either 2000 or 2001 by my father, a farmer and Labour stalwart who encouraged me to both write and read. It remains to this very day the best book I have ever been given, perhaps the greatest gift ever. I can think of few if any Australian works that surpass it. I suppose I'll have to concede that Praise by An


  5. Nancy Nancy says:

    Finish date: 04 December 2017
    Genre: roman à clef
    Rating: B
    Review: Frank Hardy wanted to expose poverty andthe extent of political corruption in various aspects of Australian life. Hardy also wanted to make the case for the Communist Party.
    A novel aimed at a popular readership ...about prominent figures in Australian politics


  6. Cass Cass says:

    'More than 100 of Australia's best known writers, artists, scientists and members of the professions are petitioning the Victorian Attorney-General for the withdrawl of the case against Power Without Glory author Frank Hardy (in) defence of Australian traditions'
    DAILY TELEGRAPH 1951

    '[witnesses in the case against Hardy] today identi


  7. pinknantucket pinknantucket says:

    OK I'm giving up on Power without Glory I'm afraid. It's not that I thought it was terrible or anything, I just kept putting it down in preference for something else. Probably I'm missing out on a grand piece of Australian writing. It's apparently a fictionalised version of a real person's life and it kind of feels like a dull biography. I'm up to pag


  8. Marcus Clark Marcus Clark says:


    Power Without Glory, by Frank Hardy
    First published 1950


    Before I read Power Without Glory, I had a politically simple view of the world. Of course I knew corruption existed, it was just that I expected politicians, church leaders, police commissioners, and even betting agencies to be — if not honest — then, almost hon


  9. Karen Karen says:

    Such an amazing book, particularly whilst living in Collingwood (Carringbush). Not only interesting to read about the politics of the day but also, trying to guess who and where the 'real' people and places were. I did find the famous tote (labelled on a plaque by Collingwood Historical Society) and, through my own research and contacts, I was able to s


  10. Jenny Jenny says:

    Interesting because of its Australian historical political context but no literary great


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