Abstract: More than 25 years after his death, Wilfred “Peter” Burchett continues to excite debate. He is a figure that, as historian Robert Manne notes, is possibly “the most controversial and influential communist in Australian history” (Manne 32). To many, Burchett is a traitor, but to others, he stands as a representation of Australian journalism’s Enlightenment-informed value and belief system. This article offers a theoretical and methodological cultural-historiographical framework within which it is possible to reinterpret Burchett as an allegorical narrative. This reinterpretation suggests Burchett can be read as a metaphor and, as such, continues to have a fundamentally essential position within Australian journalism culture, despite apparent uncomfortable “realities”.

Keywords: Australian Journalism History; Australian International Politics; Australian Journalism Culture; The Cold War; World War II.

Copyright © Josie Vine 2014. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.