Power Without Glory

Power Without Glory❰Reading❯ ➹ Power Without Glory Author Frank J. Hardy – Bluevapours.co.uk 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' Power Without Glory caused a sensation when it was released, Power Without PDF \ 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.

Francis Joseph Hardy, or Frank, was an Australian left wing Power Without PDF \ novelist and writer best known for his controversial novel Power Without Glory He also was a political activist bringing the plight of Aboriginal Australians to international attention with the publication of his book, The Unlucky Australians, in He ran unsuccessfully for the Australian parliament twice.

Power Without Glory PDF/EPUB Ì Power Without  PDF \
    Power Without Glory PDF/EPUB Ì Power Without PDF \ 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."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 671 pages
  • Power Without Glory
  • Frank J. Hardy
  • English
  • 03 October 2017

10 thoughts on “Power Without Glory

  1. 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 State politics, become inconsequential in the early 21st Century. Almost no one remembers who the Prime Minister was at the start of the Great Depression (it was Scullin) or the appalling politics in Victoria at the time.

    However, if one treats this as completely fictional, then what one has is a novel regarding the machinations of politics by powerful people and the Churches. It thus becomes as relevant today as when this was written, or during the portrayed period. As a historical political novel, then we enter a time that was turbulent, and covered well by Hardy. So many people no longer are aware of the distain of the Irish Catholics, and the massive issue of the Easter Rebellion of 1916 in Ireland. British Empire jingoism at a high because of the war left many Australians wondering how to negotiate a war they strongly believed in, and a nation to which they had strong ties having its own internal battles. In later aspects of the novel, the fear of communism outside of Russia was a powerful one and especially as any entitlements awarded to poorly paid workers was a thin edge to all out communism. The Catholic church in Australia played an important part in splitting and weakening the Australian Labor Party in their strident rooting out of all communist concepts. The outcome was Labor in wilderness for 20 years, and no affective opposition. Thus for me, the strength of this book is the Irish Catholic situation of early Federated Australia: the power the Catholic church had over the Labor Party, and its will to influence politics. The concerted effort to get funding of Catholic schools by public money was just one case in point. It is also something that is still hotly contested in the public sphere: the difference is mostly younger evangelist churches have replaced the Catholic church in having influence in politics.

    In an ideal world, the book desperately needed an astute editor. The 1st part is too detailed and long, and the final section is rushed, under-written and much is accidently glossed over, such that the narrative discussing the assertive attack of the Catholics to root out left, socialist leaning Labor politicians (The Movement) is confusing to the contemporary reader. One of the problems is the topics Hardy was most interested in, are way too large to sit comfortably in one novel. In one aspect, this would have worked well as two or three ones that could have developed someone of the plot lines and themes. I’m reminded on how C.P. Snow or Anthony Powell achieved this in their novel cycles. Of course, on such a contentious subject as John Wren, this could never happen. In some ways, I felt that Hardy could have fictionised his characters a bit more, but still cover the themes of corrupt politics and the Catholic church interference. Contemporary stories such as House of Cards have been successful in this, and Hardy could have avoided a libel case. To be honest, Hardy was an inexperienced author taking on a massive story, and these shortfalls accentuate his naivety and inexperience. However, despite these shortfalls, Hardy does do an excellent narrative for a 1st book.

    One major issue with the novel is our anti-hero John West. He is loathsome from page one & never redeems himself even at the end. The main problem is Hardy obviously hated him with a passion, and it shows. West in many ways is a cardboard character and the person that carries the narrative along. Far more interesting and fleshed out characters are Frank Ashton, Richard Bradley, Daniel Malone and Thurgood.

    As I read the book, I had Wikipedia open. There is an entry devoted to this book, and someone has listed and matched, as much as possible, the character against the public identity, many of whom have their own pages. Not only did I find this informative, it lead me to learn a lot more about early Federation politics. This book showed me that Australians have never been pleasant in politics: the rorts and exploitations observed now have always been there. What shook me the most is the concept of a Royal Commission. They have ALWAYS been used as a means to either discredit someone or some organisation, or to equally bury the truth into a tome that is never acted upon. I honestly thought this was a recent phenomenon.

    Power Without Glory can have a limited contemporary audience: restricting to a fictionalised account of a public figure in early Federated Australian and Victorian state politics. However, treat it as a political novel that describes this period in politics, particularly the earlier, growing years of the Australian Labor Party, and one gets a really interesting insight into a politics that isn’t that much removed from the current bad behaviour in our own times from the major players.

  2. 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 expressed in print. European Australia has always been a hard land. With communities originally based on convict labour, it seems as though a certain amount of violence came to be taken almost for granted. In a country that long had an oversupply of men, it is perhaps not so surprising that they spent much of their time trying to dominate both the land, its original inhabitants and each other. A sometimes brutal Army Corps looked after convicts for the first fifty years or so. Later, law enforcement was taken over by a police force which has often had to face charges of similar brutality and deep-rooted corruption, up to the present day. Aussie politics has always had a particularly nasty underbelly, and it seems as though social conditions were ripe in the 1920s for the rise of just such a personage as is depicted here.

    Frank Hardy had to fight (the mob) hard to get this novel published and once he had succeeded, he had to go to court to defend it against a defamation order. The book's main character, even though he tried hard in later life to attain a position of legitimacy, always found himself caught up in the web of underworld intrigue that he had created. Even so, it is probably true to say that most ordinary people didn't want to know about the activities imputed to a man who was, superficially, a pillar of the community. So Hardy was right to expose the ruthless nature of the beast underlying the ostensibly honest sports promoter and family man. And perhaps all Australia, or those who remember this particular episode (and its ongoing media life through film and television) did well to note what sort of man lay behind the mask.

    Australia has taken a long time to come out of this period of its history, when personal might could be displayed almost with impunity, even in public affairs. This book, perhaps neglected today, serves to remind us of the imposing structure of organised crime that Australia has had to grow up with. In addition, it is a fine literary achievement and worthy of being read on that basis alone.

  3. 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.

    Last third: argh need to finish this book. Do I need to know all the corrupt scams that ever happened in racing or boxing or cycling? Ooh this stuff about the Catholic Church driving the communists out of the unions is pretty good.

    For historical detail and political info I give this book an A+. Especially given what Hardy went through to get this printed.

  4. 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 Andrew McGahan is better but outside that it is the best. I hate gambling and the parasites that run industries based on it. This book not only shows the corrupting influence of power but the way it can destroy a person's humanity. John West is so obsessed with power and money that in the end he has not a true friend in the world, only boot lickers and sycophants.
    Frank Hardy was the first author, to my knowledge, to highlight the sinister addictive social disease that gambling is. It is a book that is apt for the modern world. I found it a compelling tale, identified with many of the types from Carringbush and believed in the corrupting influence of extreme wealth, both on West himself and all those he tried to manipulate. Perhaps later in the book it shies too far away from the personal but by its end the effect on West is both palpable and it certainly makes you think. Thank you Frank Hardy and no one regrets it more that Communism turned out to be a huge rort which was in truth perhaps worse than Facism

  5. 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 and Catholic Church could do real damage.
    Archbishop Malone = Archbishop of Melbourne Daniel Mannix
    John West = John Wren
    John Wren was not a gangster, but a big city boss who
    ...excelled at machine politics, and even funded the Catholic Church
    Last thoughts:
    Coined as the most influential novel published in Australia in 20th C
    …you have to read it taking into account the political climate in Melbourne at the time. It is and remains an…
    #AustralianClassic.

    Review

  6. 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 identified distinguished Australians with the characters in the book:
    Among them were:
    Field Marshall Sir Thomas Blamey (Blaire in the book); James Scullin, a former Prime Minister (Jim Somers); Sir High Devine, eminent surgeon (Dr Devlin); Archbishop Carr (Archbishop Conn); T.J.Ryan, a former Premier of Queensland (T.J.Real); Mr W.P.C.Kennelly, M.L.C. Federal Secretary for the ALP (Teddy Kelleher); and Mr W Barry, MLA, former State Labor Minister for Housing (Bill Brady).'
    DAILY TELEGRAPH 1951

  7. 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 page 189, so it's not like I didn't give it a good go or anything. I think I'm feeling guilty for giving up on it...

  8. 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 honest.

    The story is largely set in Melbourne, Australia, starting in 1890. It is about the rise of a man the novel calls John West, the public knew him as John Wren. Power Without Glory is presented as a novel, but everyone knows it is factual. John Wren rose from poverty to immense wealth and political influence, starting with backyard gambling and bribing the police.

    The book covers a period of 60 years, and so presents a vivid portrayal of life in Australia during that era, and by life we can include gambling, corruption of political leaders, bribery, thuggery, fixing sporting events, illegal activities of every kind, including murder. At the height of his power John Wren wielded as much power as the Prime Minister. Many parliamentarians were in debt to him; financially he had supported their election, his contacts with the Catholic Church went to the top, while newspapers and the police force were also under his influence.

    Unfortunately, Frank Hardy never wrote anything else in the same class as Power Without Glory, not to worry, one great work is a massive achievement.

    I read the book, almost savagely, I could not stop to catch my breath. It was truly one of those books we come across that is difficult to stop reading, even though it was 650 pages.

    When I finished it, I was changed. I was no longer as politically naive, I was suspicious of politicians, the gambling industry, and police. Somewhere along the way, my political allegiance had shifted from the Right Wing to Left of Centre. Yet in the book, it is the Labor Party that works hand in glove with John West. Perhaps it was that I could see manipulation in the words and actions of the Liberals who were in power at the time. The Vietnam War was raging at full intensity, and suddenly I was full of suspicion and disbelief.
    Power Without Glory changed my world. Thank you Frank Hardy.


    www.what2readnext.com



  9. 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 see the actual record of the baptism of one of Wren's daughters.

  10. Jenny says:

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

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