2014 Calibre Prize (Winner): Unearthing the Past

Christine Piper
Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Christine Piper is the winner of the 2014 Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay, worth $5,000. In this powerful essay, she writes about Japanese biological weapons and wartime experiments on living human beings.

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Robert O'Neill reviews 'Hanoi's War'

Robert O'Neill
Thursday, 27 February 2014

Although the Vietnam War ended thirty-nine years ago, we have had to wait until now for a full and rigorous scholarly analysis of Hanoi’s policies during that war. Much important material from the war years survived in the archives of the former North Vietnamese ministries, but for a long time it was off limits to Westerners. Gradually, over the past twenty years, ...

Stephanie Owen Reeder reviews new picture books addressing war

Stephanie Owen Reeder
Thursday, 27 June 2013

Depicting war in a picture book requires a deft hand. Historical imperatives need to be considered, while also avoiding glorifying war for a young and impressionable audience. Ideally, such books should promote informed discussion rather than mindless militarism.


Nick Hordern reviews 'Exit Wounds'

Nicholas Hordern
Wednesday, 28 November 2012

To go into any bookshop, if you can still find one, is to be amazed at the space devoted to militaria: endless shelves of books not just about the two world wars and Vietnam, but all wars in all times. This vicarious fascination with war echoes another phenomenon of our time: the rise of overt public respect for soldiers.


Craig Wilcox reviews 'Boredom is the Enemy '

Craig Wilcox
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

W hat book would you want to read in hell, or in one of humanity’s remarkably competent imitations of it? Tristram Shandy seemed about right to one young Yorkshireman who reached the Western Front in 1915. A year later he found an anthology for soldiers edited by Robert Bridges, the poet laureate, but it seemed so lofty in purpose, so earnest in its moral ...

N.A.J. Taylor


The Problem of Harm in World Politics: Theoretical Investigations
by Andrew Linklater
Cambridge University Press, $35.95 pb, 320 pp, 9780521179843


Violent and non-violent harm is endured, inflicted, and internalised by all people at different ti ...

Robin Prior reviews 'Anzac’s Dirty Dozen'

Robin Prior
Monday, 23 April 2012

This book is the second in a series compiled by a group of Canberra academics on the distortions they perceive to surround the writing of military history in this country. Before the book itself is tackled, a word should be said about the titles they have chosen for their two volumes. The first (published in 2010) is called Zombie Myths of Australian Military Hi ...

Tanya Crothers (ed.): We Talked of Other Things

Graeme Powell
Monday, 27 February 2012

The remarkable translator of Erich Maria Remarque

Graeme Powell


edited by Tanya Crothers
Longueville Media, $55 hb, 448 pp, 9780987057013


Arthur Wheen, a nineteen-year-old ...

For long after World War II, particular opprobrium was reserved for the statesmen who failed to resist the belligerent dictators. Their failure was denounced in the popular tract Guilty Men, which appeared in 1940 soon after Hitler overran Western Europe, leaving Britain to fight on alone ...

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Robin Prior reviews 'All Hell Let Loose' by Max Hastings

Robin Prior
Monday, 23 January 2012

It is a brave undertaking to write a single-volume history of World War II. As Max Hastings notes, we already have many good books in this category: Weinberg, A World At Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994); Calvocoressi, Wint, and Pritchard, Total War: The Causes and Courses of the Second World War (1989); Millett and Murray, A War To ...

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