In early 1965 at age thirteen, Mark Aarons came under the 'adverse tice' of ASIO, which opened volume one of his nine-volume security file. Mark was following in the footsteps of his 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.
Mark Aarons is the author of several books, including War Criminals Welcome. He worked as an ABC broadcaster and investigative documentary producer from 1973 until 1990 and has written many feature articles for Australia's leading newspapers. From 1996 to 2006, he was a senior advisor to the NSW Labor government. He has also been a long-term activist in the East Timorese cause.