Ziino, Bart: Round trip

Ziino, Bart

A kind of round trip: Australian soldiers and the tourist analogy 1914-1918’, War & Society, 25, 2, October 2006, pp. 39-52

Examines the argument that going to war was like being a tourist. Has extensive notes and references to a range of sources.

If we are to try to understand how and with what attitudes Australians went to war between 1914 and 1918, we must attempt to enter their world, to understand the basis of their expectations and the ways in which they made sense of their experiences. While we should not be seduced by direct analogies, a tourist analogy can help us to understand the cultural baggage that accompanied Australians to the war. It also suggests that those who travelled overseas maintained links with home as a central part of relating and negotiating the meaning of that experience. The significant point here is that each individual’s approach to war was multifaceted, calling on multiple analogies and deep veins of cultural knowledge. (p. 52)

As all of Australia’s wars (except the frontier wars) have been fought overseas, the article and the associated literature has potentially wider relevance. Note also Graeme Davison regarding the travelling or ‘Odyssey’ aspects of commemoration.

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