Labour History

‘The Day of the Just Reasoner’: T.A. Coghlan and the Labour Public Sphere in Late Nineteenth Century Australia

Labour History (1999), 77, (1), 11–26.


T.A. Coghlan, best known as the author of Labour and Industry in Australia and for his innovatory statistical work, also wrote articles for the Bulletin in the late 1880s and early 1890s. The often humorous approach he adopted veiled a more serious project of challenging bourgeois and working class modes of thought and explanation. He believed that he was writing in a transcendent historical moment, in which there was no place for the barbarous, prejudiced and irrational ‘Old World’ attitudes and explanations. This was, in short, ‘the day of the just reasoner’ - and Coghlan’s articles displayed his belief that the working class was the personification of ‘the just reasoner’. His Bulletin writings allow him to be seen as a labour intellectual, engaged in the transformative intellectual work that defines the labour intellectual’s relationship to the labour public sphere.

Access Token


Author details

Maddison, Ben

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
p. 111
p. 122
p. 133
p. 144
p. 155
p. 166
p. 177
p. 188
p. 199
p. 2010
p. 2111
p. 2212
p. 2313
p. 2414
p. 2515