Writing a book on a large, multifaceted, and complex historical subject on which there is a vast amount of source material is a little like sculpting a substantial yet elegant statue from marble. In this case, the sculpting process is far from complete. A potentially valuable book remains submerged within this long and inadequately edited volume. A clue to the problem lies in the subtitle, which asserts that the book is ‘the complete story of the Australian war’. There is, of course, no such thing as a complete history: even the longest multi-volume histories must decide what to exclude.
Bruce Davies: Vietnam
Vietnam: The Complete Story of the Australian War
by Bruce Davies with Gary McKay
Allen & Unwin, $55 hb, 736 pp, 9781741750287
Peter Edwards is an historian specialising in Australia’s national security policies and policy-making. He is the Official Historian of...
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