Stephens, David: Anzac Day and history as what we choose to remember

David Stephens*

Anzac Day and history as what we choose to remember‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 April 2020 updated

The Covid-19 pandemic has been compared with the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19. That many of us knew nothing about that disaster of a century ago shows that history is what we choose to remember. We have emphasised the stories of the Great War of 1914-19, to the extent that the facts and the impacts of that earlier pandemic have largely been lost. That is not the only instance of history as what we choose to remember.

The article uses examples including the Spanish flu pandemic, pre-Boer War Australian military adventures, Tony Abbott’s florid rhetoric, and our obsession with how we fight, rather than why. For related pieces, see this article from the Honest History vault, plus the links therefrom.

Update 26 April 2020: The piece refers to Patrick Hodgson’s thesis. He appeared on The Drum on 1 April (from mark 19.00).

* David Stephens is editor of the Honest History website.


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