The Family File by Mark Aarons


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In early 1965 at age thirteen, Mark Aarons came under the ‘adverse notice’ of ASIO, which opened volume one of his nineteen-volume security file. Mark was following in the footsteps of this father, Laurie Aarons, whose 85-volume file commenced in the early 1930s when he was fourteen. For four generations the Aarons family were ‘subversive revolutionaries’, avowed communists who challenged the established constitutional order. Having obtained access to his family’s ASIO files – the largest collection in the nation’s history – Mark Aarons combines their meticulous chronicles with his family’s own accounts to tell a political tale of revolution and dissent, idealism and intrigue. It is also an intimate story of life under surveillance, a reflection on communism and its legacy, and on what it was to be a radical in Australia in eventful times.


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