World War I

Martin Crotty reviews 'Palestine Diaries: The light horsemen’s own story, battle by battle' by Jonathan King

Martin Crotty
28 December 2017

Australia’s role in the war against the Ottoman Empire from 1916 to 1918 is much less widely understood than its contribution to the doomed campaign in the Dardanelles or the muddy slog More

Ben Brooker reviews 'Reflections on Gallipoli'

Ben Brooker
20 March 2015

It is, of course, one hundred years since almost 9,000 Australians died on a small Turkish peninsula during a campaign that, despite its localised failure as a military operation and futility in influencing the overall course of the war, has been unalterably woven into the fabric of our national mythos. Commemorative presentations are frequent. Orchestras, televisio ... More

John Arnold reviews 'Furphies and Whizz-Bangs' by Amanda Laugesen

John Arnold
02 March 2015

The Great War produced its own idiom and slang. Many of the new words and phrases created during the long conflict, such as ‘tank’ and ‘barrage’, became part of standard English, although often with a different nuance of meaning.

The recording of Australian soldier slang was seen as important at the end of the war. It was recognised as being integral ... More

Nigel Biggar reviews 'The Darkest Days' by Douglas Newton

Nigel Biggar
26 February 2015

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

Joan Beaumont reviews 'Anzac' by Carolyn Holbrook

Joan Beaumont
26 February 2015

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

Alison Broinowski: Malcolm Fraser on Foreign Policy

Alison Broinowski
27 May 2014

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

J. P. McKinney's Great War Novel

Rodney Hall
27 May 2014

Everybody knows by now that the eBook may soon become as significant to literature as recording is to music. The copyright problems are evident, but on the positive side the tired old market-driven canon is being given a rude shake-up.

Quality speaks for itself. Recent welcome revivals include editions of David Ireland’s The Unknown Industrial Prisoner< ... More

Geoff Page reviews 'From the Trenches'

Geoff Page
28 March 2014

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

Amanda Laugesen on Slang and the Australian Soldier

Amanda Laugesen
27 March 2014

The relationship between the world of soldiers and the world of civilians has long been a topic of interest to historians and other scholars of war. Joan Beaumont’s significant new book Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War (reviewed in ABR, February 2014) emphasises the importance of considering the war front and home front side by side, and a ... 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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