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The Protest Years : The Official History of ASIO, 1963-1975 - John Blaxland

The Protest Years

The Official History of ASIO, 1963-1975

Hardcover Published: 21st October 2015
ISBN: 9781925266931
Number Of Pages: 592

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The continuing story of Australia's domestic intelligence organisation during the turbulent years from the end of the Menzies era to the downfall of the Whitlam government.

By 1963, Robert Menzies had been prime minister for thirteen years, Australia had its first troops in Vietnam, and change was in the air. There would soon be street protests over women's rights, Aboriginal land rights and the Vietnam War, and unprecedented student activism. With the Cold War lingering, ASIO was concerned that protests were being orchestrated to foment revolution.

The Protest Years tells the inside story of Australia's domestic intelligence organisation from the last of the Menzies years to the dismissal of the Whitlam government. With unrestricted access to ASIO's internal files, and extensive interviews with insiders, for the first time the circumstances surrounding the alleged role of ASIO in the demise of the Whitlam Government are revealed, and the question of the CIA's involvement in Australia is explored. The extraordinary background to the raid on ASIO headquarters in Melbourne by Attorney-General Lionel Murphy, and Australia's efforts at countering Soviet bloc espionage, as well as the sensitive intelligence activities in South Vietnam, are exposed.

This is a ground-breaking political and social history of some of Australia's most turbulent years as seen through the secret prism of ASIO.

The Protest Years is the second of three volumes of The Official History of ASIO.

About the Author

JOHN BLAXLAND is a Senior Fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University and writes about military history, intelligence, security and Asia-Pacific affairs. He is a former Director of Joint Intelligence Operations at Headquarters Joint Operations Command, the editor of East Timor Intervention and the author of The Australian Army from Whitlam to Howard and Strategic Cousins.

Industry Reviews

Sheds light on the lowest point of US-American relations... The book lays bare the animosity between Whitlam and Barbour. * Guardian *
This is indeed a ground-breaking political and social history... An important publishing milestone. * Military Books, Australia *
The politics of counter-espionage, counter-subversion and counter-terrorism always make for a fascinating read, and Volume II of the ASIO story is no exception. -- The Hon. Gareth Evans AC QC
ASIO has played a much more important role in Australia's history than most people realise: this account offers a fascinating new perspective on Australia from Menzies' last years to the end of the Whitlam government. -- The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

List of Figures and Tables


Acronyms and Abbreviations





1. The Challenge of Adolescence: ASIO's Growing Pains, 1963-1972

2. Shaping and Influencing: ASIO, Politics and the Media, 1963-1972

3. Listening and Watching: Human Intelligence Techniques and Procedures, 1963-1972

4. Tracking 'Revolutionaries': Counter-subversion Operations, 1963-1972

5. The Rise of Terrorism: Croatian Emigres and Counter-subversion, 1963-1972

6. Grappling with Dissent: Anti-Vietnam War Protests, 1963-1972

7. Refining the Methods: Counterespionage Techniques and Threats, 1963-1972

8. Looking for Leads: Counterespionage Operations against the Soviets, 1963-1972

9. Monitoring the Rest: Counterespionage and non-Soviet Targets, 1963-1972

10. Vetting and Advising: Protective Security, 1963-1972


11. Operations Far and Wide: ASIO's Foreign and Overseas Connections, 1963-1972

12. Australia's Cold War Frontline: ASIO in Papua New Guinea, 1962-1975 by Rhys Crawley


13. Whitlam, Murphy and the 'Raid': Turbulent Times, 1972-1973

14. Beyond the Murphy Raid: ASIO in Turmoil, 1972-1975

15. Responding to New Priorities: Countersubversion and Counterterrorism, 1973-1975

16. Multiplying Targets: Counterespionage, 1973-1975

17. Changing the Rules: Protective Security, 1973-1974

18. ASIO on the Brink: The Last Days of the Whitlam Government, 1974-1975

Conclusion: Reflections on ASIO in Transition




ISBN: 9781925266931
ISBN-10: 1925266931
Series: Official History of ASIO : Book 2
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 592
Published: 21st October 2015
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 1.12

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