war

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

 

WE TALKED OF OTHER THINGS: THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF ARTHUR WHEEN 1897–1971
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 ...

War is one of the great paradoxes of Australia. Why should a people occupying a continent so far from the world’s trouble spots have spent so much of their history dying in often distant wars? It is one of the questions that drew me to the study of Australian history. I am little the wiser after reading this collection of Australian war writing. This is partly bec ...

Many of us would find it as hard as Shaw’s Ladvenu does to think of any good reason for torture. It seems medieval, it is abhorrent, it is internationally illegal, and it doesn’t work. Statements made under torture are legally useless, and their value as intelligence is not much better ...

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Amos Oz: Scenes from Village Life

Colin Golvan
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The redemptive power of dreams

Colin Golvan

 

Scenes from Village Life
by Amos Oz
Chatto & Windus, $29.95 hb, 265 pp, 9780701185503

 

Amos Oz, who is at the pinnacle of Israeli writing, epitomises the role of writer as a voice of hope, a moral guid ...

Tariq Ali: The Obama Syndrome

Dennis Altman
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Trashing Obama

Dennis Altman

 

The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad
by Tariq Ali
Verso, $29.95 pb, 219 pp, 9781844677573

 

Tariq Ali, proclaims the Guardian, ‘has been a leading figure of the international left since the 60s’. ...

Of the fate of Australian prisoners of war in the hands of the Japanese during World War II, the literature – memoir, fiction, history – is voluminous. There were 21,652 of them, of whom thirty-five per cent, or 7780, perished. A good deal has also been written of enemy prisoners – Japanese, German, Italian – who were held in camps in this country, and in pa ...

The title of this new book on the Vietnam War comes from the final verse cycle of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1869). As Arthur lies dying, he reflects ‘that we / Shall never more ... Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds’. This Arthurian borrowing for the title of a book about an obscure battle fought by Australians in Vietnam during the 19 ...

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