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A rather rough war

by
April 2005, no. 270

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Australia’s WWII remembered by the men and women who lived it by Margaret Geddes

Viking, $49.95 hb, 505 pp

A rather rough war

by
April 2005, no. 270

In Margaret Geddes’s own words, Blood, Sweat and Tears ‘is a book of memories and feelings, not facts and dates’. As a result, she is able to avoid the structural, stylistic and other ramifications of historical and chronological accuracy. Instead, she is interested more in the quality and reverberations of their recollections and their reconstruction of events that are ‘with them still’, and is able to give her various interlocutors full narrative rein to hit upon their own rhythms, pursue their own lines of emphasis and obsession, and often talk at considerable length. Apart from a reference to ‘important incidents’ which time and space constraints forced her to omit, Geddes does not mention editorial processes or policies in her introduction, and the interviews have few ellipses denoting significant omissions. These are unmediated contributions to the broad theme of Australian memory of World War II, loosely but usefully grouped into three sections: The War in Europe and the Middle East; The War in the Pacific; and The War in Australia.

Brian Matthews reviews ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears: Australia’s WWII remembered by the men and women who lived it.’ by Margaret Geddes

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Australia’s WWII remembered by the men and women who lived it

by Margaret Geddes

Viking, $49.95 hb, 505 pp

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