Dean, Peter J.: Complexity and limitations of Australian army biography

Dean, Peter J.

Commemoration, memory, and forgotten histories: complexity and limitations of Australian army biography‘, War and Society, 29, 2, October 2010, pp. 118-36

Addresses the question ‘how far has biography been utilized in understanding the history of the Australian army and why for so long was it such a neglected genre?’ Looks at the role of military stories, including for children, in Australia’s earlier history, and how military biography became more common under the influence of CEW Bean. There has been some high quality work in recent decades (though not notably of women) but there were (2010) still gaps, including in the welding together of operational and social aspects.

The article is rich in footnotes referring to relevant books. The author was at the University of Notre Dame in 2010 but is now at ANU.

Military biographies continue to appear. There is a review by Peter Stanley of Grantlee Kieza’s biography of Monash. The review has a brief survey of the Monash part of the field from the perspective of 2015.

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