Military History

Robin Priors 'The Roar of the Lion'

Robin Prior
28 February 2014

In his introduction to this book, Richard Toye makes the startling but, as far as I know, accurate claim that this is the first book to offer a comprehensive analysis of Churchill’s wartime speeches. For a series of orations that now occupy many pages of any dictionary of quotations, The Roar of the Lion fills a surprising gap. Unfortunately, it does not fi ... More

Robert O'Neill reviews 'Hanoi's War'

Robert O'Neill
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, ... More

Broken Nation

Marilyn Lake
16 January 2014

Marilyn Lake reviews Joan Beaumont’s magnum opus on Australians in the Great War and lauds it as the book to read amid the tsunami of books on the outbreak of the Great War.

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Jo Scanlan reviews 'Kitty's War'

Jo Scanlan
31 October 2013

Janet Butler sets up the story of Australian World War I army nurse Catherine (Kit) McNaughton with a strong and vivid opening chapter. At a hospital base in the north of France, Kit sits in her freezing hut scribbling in her diary, her mind far away with her audience back home. She is about to go on duty. A short time later when she lifts the canvas flap of t ... More

Jo Scanlan reviews 'The Boy Colonel'

Jo Scanlan
30 September 2013

So many Australian scholars and writers stand tall alongside C.E.W. Bean that you have to wonder: is there much more that can be said about World War I? Well, no. And yes. Almost one hundred years on, writers such as battlefield historian Will Davies continue to seek illumination through unfamiliar characters and fresh ang ... More

Rendezvous with Destiny

Dennis Altman
25 September 2013

Michael Fullilove, head of the Lowy Institute, has written about President Roosevelt and the men who helped him to guide the US so reluctantly into World War II. Dennis Altman reviews this model of academic research.< More

Stephanie Owen Reeder reviews new picture books addressing war

Stephanie Owen Reeder
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.

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Geoffrey Blainey reviews 'Australian War Memorial'

Geoffrey Blainey
26 March 2013

The Australian War Memorial has become a kind of national cathedral. Those who visit Canberra for the first time feel that they must see it. It fascinates nationalists, those who are entranced by past wars, those who love displays of technology, relatives of the war dead, those attracted to family history, and the countless visitors who unknowingly seek heroes outsi ... More

Robin Prior on 'The Making of the First World War'

Robin Prior
25 March 2013

The first thing to be said about this book is that no one associated with it seemed to know what to call it or how to describe its contents. The essays which make up the book are not in any sense about the ‘making’ of World War I. They do not describe either elements that ‘made’ World War I in the sense of causing it, or elements that caused World War ... More

Peter Edwards: 'Vietnam: The Complete Story of the Australian War'

Peter Edwards
28 November 2012

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 probl ... More

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