Imprint: Australian Scholarly Publishing

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781921875755
Released: December 2012

A$39.95 Buy now

Undesirable: Captain Zuzenko and the Workers of Australia and the World

By Kevin Windle

'This extraordinary fellow should figure more in our national history than he does.' Phillip Adams


Alexander Zuzenko, a sailor and veteran of the failed 1905 revolution in Russia, arrived in Australia in 1911 and embarked upon a career of industrial and political agitation and radical journalism. Soon branded ‘an unscrupulous advocate of Bolshevism’ by the security services, he went on to head the Union of Russian Workers in Brisbane and led the red flag demonstration in 1919, which precipitated his deportation to Soviet Russia. Three years later he returned as a clandestine agent of the Comintern, tasked with consolidating and unifying the factions of the Communist Party of Australia, a venture which ended in his second deportation. He then became a captain in the Soviet merchant fleet, in frequent contact with Western visitors such as Henri Barbusse, George Bernard Shaw, William Gallacher, and Sidney and Beatrice Webb, until Stalin’s purges and a charge of being a ‘British spy’ ended that career in 1938.

‘Zuzenko is a figure of enormous fascination, whom Kevin Windle has used as a lens on Russian history and onto important aspects of Australian history’. — Thomas Keneally

'This book has done an absorbing job of tracing the half-hidden life of one of Stalin's victims.' — Owen Richardson, The Age

'This is a great part of our history, which ought to be better known.' — Phillip Adams, Late Night Live

Kevin Windle teaches Translation Studies and Russian in the School of Language Studies at the Australian National University. His major publications include The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies edited by Kirsten Malmkjaer and Kevin Windle, Our Unswerving Loyalty: A documentary survey of relations between the Communist Party of Australia and Moscow 1920–1940 edited by David Lovell and Kevin Windle, ANU E Press, and numerous translations of literary and scholarly works from Russian, Polish and other languages.


Categories: Featured Titles, Australian History, Politics, World History

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