Seumas Spark reviews 'Anzac Day Then and Now' edited by Tom Frame

Seumas Spark reviews 'Anzac Day Then and Now' edited by Tom Frame

Anzac Day Then and Now

edited by Tom Frame

University of New South Wales Press $39.99 pb, 310 pp, 9781742234816

I hazard a guess that more books are published on Anzac – the day, the legend, the myth – than on any other subject in Australian history. The least of these contributions, which often harness the nebulous concept of the 'Anzac spirit' to tell whatever story the author is interested in, add little or nothing to our understanding of the place and role of Anzac in Australian society past and present. For authors hoping to cash in on a lucrative market, Anzac is surely the subject of choice. The best Anzac writing, on the other hand, challenges us to think anew about the origins, ideals, and purpose of Anzac. Anzac Day Then and Now achieves this admirably.

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Seumas Spark

Seumas Spark

Seumas Spark is a historian employed at Monash University. He and two colleagues are working on a history of the Dunera and Queen Mary internees. His main research interests are the social history of World War II and the history of Papua New Guinea.