Anzac instincts

The missing modern military voice

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  • Published 20150414
  • ISBN: 9781922182807
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IT IS A curious thing, perhaps unique to Australia, that someone appraising the phenomenon of Anzac – that shared national oath to remember military sacrifice and honour wartime service – must first present genealogical military credentials. It’s a defensive move; it declares you share the Anzac spirit, and have a claim to it – an inoculation of sorts against the charge of being unqualified to speak to a topic of such secular sacredness.

In a country where the Anzac spirit stirs passions it can also carve emptiness. How to connect with Anzac if you’ve never donned a uniform? How to feel martial pride when you are martially barren, missing a military link? Family ties help. So when respected journalists pen an analysis of Anzac they often append a notation of a family member’s military service in World War II, or better still World War I. Those addendums declare, ‘I am a part of this, not just a disinterested observer, my family story allows me to have a say in what this Anzac thing means.’

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About the author

James Brown

James Brown is the author of Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession (Black Inc., 2014) and a former army officer who...

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