J V Barry: a Life
JV Barry: A Life is the history of John Vincent Barry: judge, historian, criminologist, civil libertarian and public intellectual before his time. Mark Finnane's authoritative biography traces Barry's development from his Irish Catholic boyhood in rural New South Wales to the deeply felt aspirations and personal conflicts of a judge and intellectual in an era dominated by the Menzies government, the Labor split, and an international Cold War. Seen through the eyes of a keen observer of the times, JV Barry: A Life is also a history of Australian life from the 1920s to the 1960s, documenting the growth of state powers in an age of security concerns, and the significant impact of these on the privacy of individuals. It also documents Barry's role as the intellectual founder of the discipline of criminology in Australia. Drawing on more than 10,000 letters as well as interviews with those who knew him, Mark Finnane looks at Barry in the cultural, political and intellectual milieu of inter- and post-war Australia, and describes Barry's considerable role in the creation of a discourse of justice and human rights in Australia.