Military History

Kevin Foster reviews 'Double Diamonds: Australian commandos in the Pacific War 1941-45' by Karl James

Kevin Foster

The recent scandal over Facebook’s censorship of Nick Ut’s 1972 photograph of ‘Napalm girl’, Kim Phuc, offers a salutary reminder of photography’s stubborn ...

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Joy Damousi reviews 'Armenia, Australia and the Great War' by Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley

Joy Damousi

The Armenian Genocide, which claimed an estimated 1.5 million lives, began in 1915. It continues to cause controversy today and is a hotly contested event; ...

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Luke Horton reviews 'Another Great Day At Sea' by Geoff Dyer

Luke Horton

Despite their disparate subject matter, the central concerns of Geoff Dyer’s books remain the same. Whether he is writing about photography, D.H. Lawrence, taking you scene-by-scene through Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, or, as in Another Great Day At Sea, spending two weeks aboard a US aircraft carrier, his abiding concerns – the self, the nature o ... More

Nigel Biggar reviews 'The Darkest Days' by Douglas Newton

Nigel Biggar

Every author has his prejudices and it is usually best to lay them face-up on the table. Then the reader can track their influence, watching how they structure interpretation and noting any gaps that open up between the data and their construal. In this Douglas Newton is exemplary. No one can read the opening pages of his book and be left in any doubt about his main ... More

Peter Edwards reviews 'The Nashos' War' by Mark Dapin

Peter Edwards

In late April, the commemorations of the centenary of the Gallipoli landing will inevitably overshadow another significant anniversary in Australia’s military, political, and social history. On 29 April 1965, fifty years to the week after the landing at Anzac Cove, the Menzies government announced the commitment of an Australian infantry battalion to the growing c ... More

Joan Beaumont reviews 'Anzac' by Carolyn Holbrook

Joan Beaumont

The resurgence of the Anzac legend in the last quarter of the twentieth century took many Australians by surprise. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, it seemed that the rituals of Anzac Day would wither and fade away as the generations who fought the two world wars died. It proved not to be so. ‘Anzac’, to use the common shorthand, now dominates the national m ... More

Carolyn Holbrook reviews 'Hell-Bent' by Douglas Newton

Carolyn Holbrook

Reading about the ‘khaki election’ of 1914 in Douglas Newton’s Hell-Bent evokes a sense of déjà vu in 2014, as Australia embarks on another war in the Middle East. During the campaign of 1914, Prime Minister Joseph Cook and Labor leader Andrew Fisher jostled to prove their loyalty to Britain and their enthusiasm for the impending war. Fisher’s effor ... More

Robert O'Neill reviews 'War! What Is It Good For?' by Ian Morris

Robert O'Neill

It is a brave author who produces a book proclaiming the usefulness of war at a time when most of us are thinking about the horrors and wastefulness of World War I. Ian Morris, British by birth but now the Willard Professor of Classics at Stanford, and author of Why The West Rules – For Now (2010), has done just that and is receiving praise for his efforts. ... More

Michael Morley reviews two books on Hitler’s impact on film and music

Michael Morley

For all their differences of subject matter and approach (not to mention style), both of these studies can be seen as belonging to the category of what might be termed archaeological history. That is, they are concerned with retrieving and bringing to the surface a gallery of characters and set of important stories and connections which have been either suppressed o ... More

Darren Swanson reviews 'A War of Words'

Darren Swanson

Hamish McDonald has for more than thirty years written about foreign affairs and defence in Asia for publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald, Far Eastern Economic Review, and, more recently, as the world editor for the Saturday Paper. His writings on Indonesian politics and Australian complacency over the Balibo controversy have been more ... More

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