What’s Wrong with Anzac?: The Militarisation of Australian History

Marilyn Lake, Henry Reynolds, Joy Damousi, Mark McKenna

What's Wrong with Anzac?: The Militarisation of Australian History
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What’s Wrong with Anzac?: The Militarisation of Australian History

Marilyn Lake, Henry Reynolds, Joy Damousi, Mark McKenna

In recent years Anzac - an idea as much as an actual army corps - has become the dominant force within Australian history, overshadowing everything else. The commemoration of Anzac Day is bigger than ever, while Remembrance Day, VE Day, VP Day and other military anniversaries grow in significance each year. Pilgrimages to Gallipoli, the Somme and Kokoda are commonplace and popular military history dominates the bestseller lists. Anzac has seemingly become a sacred, untouchable element of the nation. In this brave and controversial book, some of Australia’s leading historians dare to criticise Anzac. They show that the Anzac obsession distorts the rest of Australia’s history. They investigate official sponsorship of Anzac through commemoration and education and show that this has mobilised it as a conservative force, often for political ends. Finally - and perhaps most devastatingly - they ask whether the grief and loss associated with bloodshed on foreign shores was all worth it.

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