About the Book
Revenge was just one of the catalysts responsible for the disposal of the Australian Commonwealth Shipping Line to Great Britain. In reality the final sale was a gift to a conglomerate of British shipowners; five new passenger ships and two large special purpose vessels all that remained of 57 ships. Ships sold for little more than their scrap value with a small down payment followed by default.
28men depicts an explosive period of endemic industrial disputation, the near general strike that crippled New South Wales in 1917. During this volatile period of strikes, union power, political intrigues and a world at war, there emerged from near anarchy a conservative cohesion of political forces within the Australian government.
A coalition of Nationalist and Country Party had ample justification to crush the union movement; the Moreton Bay debacle as flagship of the Sydney Harbour Regatta, the Bass Strait ferry Loongana near tragedy, and the doomed union struggle against the introduction of a foreign time and motion regime.
On a permanent confrontational footing strode the Wobblies through the shambles, Industrial Workers of the World who fearlessly fought the establishment with sometimes disastrous results. Out of this turmoil a chance meeting in New York between a young Australian seaman and an I.W.W. organiser grew a love story as turbulent as the period.
About the Author
Wayne Ward was born in Melbourne in 1938 and went to sea at 16; unlike many of his past shipmates he was able to walk unassisted down his last gangway 44 years later. Achieving officer status was not an option, but nurtured in a world of working class warriors, schemers and madmen was fertile ground for someone imbued with imagination. Probably what scapes the surface of going to sea in the era between sail and sterile automation was raised in the author’s novel The Last Seaman [Trafford 2004].