bibliographic note she locates herself within urban studies, but her text and
its format show a subsumation of urban studies.
The book is interestingly organised. Part I 'Living' includes chapters on
urban and social space, transport, and industry. Part II 'Working' includes
chapters on occupations and occupational mobility, the 'daily grind'; and then,
'marriage' and 'on the margins of the good life'. Thus Fitzgerald sees marriage
as work, as indeed it is, for men and women. Fitzgerald reports more about
women than men, reflecting the 1970s origins of the book. And the results of
her research are satisfyingly pessimistic?'More women moved down the
occupational scale on marrying than moved up? proving this is very laborious
work requiring high statistical and archival skills. A sub-theme of this strong
chapter is that infanticide and abortion were far more common than con
servative historians allow. Fitzgerald's final chapter on marginalised workers ?
casual workers ? is also an important corrective to the working people's paradise
thesis. In her Conclusion, Fitzgerald argues for 'facts' over 'theory' in her work
and then proceeds to draw off Calhoun's The Question of Class Struggle to
develop a notion of Sydney-as-community. Yes, and no, to both propositions;
but thank heavens for a provocative conclusion.
And what of the first few chapters? Fitzgerald shows clearly that Sydney
was characterised by blocked mobility, or at least very difficult upward mobility.
Shades of Thernstrom and Warner here, and perhaps generally the 'new' urban
history influence from the 1960s. How different the nineteenth century now
looks to us as a result!
From her 'Acknowledgements' it seems that Shirley Fitzgerald at times
questioned her ability and motivation to see the project through. While she
thanks those who encouraged her over the bad patches, Fitzgerald's readers
can see for themselves in the text of Rising Damp a strength of character, a
commitment to the difficult task set, and an intellectual span, which is deeply
University of Western Australia C. T. STANNAGE
Mark Bray and Malcolm Rimmer: Delivering the Goods: A History of the
Transport Workers' Union in New South Wales 1888-1986. Allen & Unwin,
Sydney, 1987. pp. xii + 297. $24.95 paper.
The publication o? Delivering the Goods is a reminder that despite a flurry
of labour history titles in the past ten to fifteen years, many aspects of the labour
movement, in organisation, ideas or events, have never really been analysed
or even described at length. Many Australian trade unions still suffer from a
lack of academic attention. Trade union histories are often derided as dull,
too possessed with a mechanical narration of the doings of the union's leadership.
Publishers doubt their appeal and look to the subject union for substantial
I can't say how well Delivering the Goods will sell, but it deserves a wide
readership. Here is the well-researched story behind a domineering union in
a key industry, a union which has previously escaped serious scrutiny. Like any
union which can look back through a century of struggle the story of the
Transport Workers' Union is full of vigour and conflict. This is unsurprising
given the firmly private enterprise ethos of Australian road transport. Workers
in the road haulage industry from the 1880s onwards have had to reckon with
employers jostling for market share in a competitive and tough business.
Unionisation of transport workers has consequently been a fairly pragmatic