The Great War is, for many Australians, the event that defined the nation. The larrikin diggers, trench warfare, and the landing at Gallipoli have become the stuff of the Anzac 'legend'. But it was also a war fought by the families at home. Their resilience in the face of hardship, their stoic acceptance of enormous casualty lists and their belief that their cause was just, made the war effort possible.
Combining deep scholarship with powerful storytelling, Joan Beaumont brings the war years to life, via accounts of battles, ferocious debates over conscription, the disillusioning Paris peace conference and the devastating 'Spanish' flu the soldiers brought home. We witness the fear and courage of tens of thousands of soldiers, grapple with the strategic nightmares confronting the commanders, and come to understand the impact on Australians at home and facing death on an unprecedented scale.
A century after the Great War, Broken Nation brings lucid insight into the dramatic events, mass grief and political turmoil that makes the memory of this terrible war central to Australia's history.
Winner of the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History.
Hard cover, 628 pages