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Connor, John, Peter Stanley & Peter Yule: World War I at home

Connor, John, Peter Stanley & Peter Yule

The War at Home: The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Volume 4, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2015

The War at Home interprets the experience of the Australian people during the Great War in Australia itself, in the politics of war, its economic and social effects, and in the experience of war; what is conventionally called ‘social history’. It seeks to show that the war affected many aspects of Australians’ lives – and that people’s experience of 1914–18 included more than just the war. It also addresses the impact of the war on Australia’s culture and artistic responses to the war …

The events of our past change how we understand more distant history. It is impossible now to think of the internment of German Australians without also reflecting on the experiences of those detained in immigration detention camps, to think of the “battle of Broken Hill” without also thinking of the “war on terror” pursued from 2001, or to look at Norman Lindsay’s posters without recalling the insidious influence of propaganda in the century since.

Before understanding the way the Great War affected Australians, we need to acknowledge the texture of life in 1914. Australia before the Great War was, as Michelle Hetherington writes in a survey of the last full year of peace, “a world of glorious possibilities”, in which as a social laboratory of progressive social, industrial and economic legislation it was “eager to learn, to develop, to dream”. The war would damage that dream, arguably fatally. (blurb)

Yule writes about the economy, trade and industrial relations, Connor about politics and the conscription battles, Stanley about mass emotions, propaganda, sectarianism and societal impacts. Detailed contents. Information about other volumes in the series. Launch video. Review for Honest History by Derek Abbott. Review by Janine Rizzetti in The Resident Judge of Port Phillip blog.