The Great War: Aftermath and Commemoration

 ‘What were the legacies of the Great War in Australia? In this new book, our leading historians contemplate the aftermath and provide much-needed critical reflection on its commemoration across the course of a century.’ — Christina Twomey

From the late twentieth century as we moved closer to the centenary of the start of the First World War, Australia was swept by an ‘Anzac revival’ and a feverish sense of commemoration. In this book, leading historians reflect on the commemorative splurge, which involved large amounts of public spending, and also re-examine what happened in the immediate aftermath of the war itself.

Were returning soldiers as traumatised as we think? What did the war mean for Indigenous veterans and for relations between Catholics and Protestants? Did war unify or divide us? How has the way we commemorate the war skewed our view of what really happened?

Provocative and engaging essays from a diverse group of leading historians discuss the profound ways in which the Great War not only affected our political system and informed decades of national security policy but shaped — and continues to shape — our sense of who we are, for better or worse. This book reminds us that we live with the legacies of war still, in ways we may not see.

The Great War: Aftermath and Commemoration is edited by Carolyn Holbrook and Keir Reeves and published by UNSW Press.

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