war

Mark Edele reviews 'The Conflict in Ukraine: What everyone needs to know' by Serhy Yekelchyk

Mark Edele

For more than a year and a half the armed conflict in Ukraine has touched many in Australia. On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in the war zone after being hit by a surface-to-air missile. There was a short burst of jubilation by pro-Russian rebels on social media, before it became clear that this was not a military machine but a civilian airliner. ... More

Susan Sheridan reviews 'Australian Women War Reporters' by Jeannine Baker

Susan Sheridan

In this meticulously researched and eminently readable history, Jeannine Baker presents a gallery of impressive women who reported war news despite the obstacles put in their way by military authorities and press traditions alike. Along the way she deftly fills in key information about the conflicts involved, from the Boer War to Vietnam – a disturbing reminder of ... More

Geoffrey Blainey reviews 'Bearing Witness' by Peter Rees

Geoffrey Blainey

Charles Bean is now seen as one of the classiest journalists and historians Australia has produced. Like many talented historians, he had no prior training in his craft, except as a war correspondent during World War I, when he wrote in the face of daily and nightly dangers such as most war journalists no longer have to confront.

I have the strong impression ... More

David Horner reviews 'Australia and the Vietnam War'

David Horner

In 1966 as a young first-year cadet at the Royal Military College, I purchased Anzac to Amiens by C.E.W. Bean, which had been published twenty years earlier. Bean had been Australia’s Official Historian for World War I, and Anzac to Amiens was his masterly condensation of the twelve-volume official history of which he had been the general editor and ... More

Andrew Alexandra: Nigel Biggar and Just War Theory

Andrew Alexandra

This book by Nigel Biggar, Anglican minister and Oxford Professor of Theology, is in the rich and broad tradition of thinking about war known as Just War Theory (JWT). JWT sees war as justifiable, but holds that decisions about going to war, as well as about the way it is fought, are subject to moral constraints. While it has its roots in classical philosophy, and h ... More

Alison Broinowski: Malcolm Fraser on Foreign Policy

Alison Broinowski

Coinciding with the World War I anniversaries, Malcolm Fraser’s book will polarise Australian opinion on a fundamental issue. It has never been raised in this way, for Australian leaders have not discussed decisions to go to war in public, nor sought popular approval of Australia’s alliances. Yet successive generations of young Australians have fought in British ... More

Sheila Fitzpatrick on history vs memoir

Sheila Fitzpatrick

In Iris Murdoch’s novel, The Sandcastle (1957), a young artist called Rain Carter is commissioned to paint a retired schoolmaster, Demoyte, an eccentric with an offbeat sense of humour. Instead of his usual attire – a shabby red velvet jacket with tobacco stains and bow tie – Demoyte turns up wearing a nondescript grey suit, explaining to a friend: ‘A ... More

Trivialising the Anzacs

Joan Beaumont

In a year sure to be glutted with military commemorations, leading historian Joan Beaumont highlights the commodification and triviliasation of the Anzac legend.

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Geoff Page reviews 'From the Trenches'

Geoff Page

Mark Dapin’s anthology, From the Trenches, is a timely but not opportunistic book. At more than 400 pages, it is long enough to suggest the sheer scale of the war and its centrality to European (if not world) history ever since. It samples all the relevant genres (letters, memoir, journalism, fiction, poetry) and offers a multiplicity of viewpoints (senior ranks, subalterns, NCOs, priv ... More

2014 Calibre Prize (Winner): Unearthing the Past

Christine Piper

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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