Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Product Form: Paperback / softback
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Author(s): Cochrane, Peter

In the half-century preceding the Great War there was a dramatic shift in the mindset of Australia's political leaders, from a profound sense of safety in the Empire's embrace to a deep anxiety about abandonment by Britain.

Collective memory now recalls a rallying to the cause in 1914, a total identification with British interests and the need to defeat Germany. But there is an underside to this story- the belief that the newly federated nation's security, and its race purity, must be bought with blood.

Before the war Commonwealth governments were concerned not with enemies in Europe but with perils in the Pacific. Fearful of an 'awakening Asia' and worried by opposition to the White Australia policy, they prepared for defence against Japan-only to find themselves fighting for the Empire on the other side of the world. Prime Minister Billy Hughes spoke of this paradox in 1916, urging his countrymen- 'I bid you go and fight for white Australia in France.'

In this vital and illuminating book, Peter Cochrane examines how the racial preoccupations that shaped Australia's preparation for and commitment to the war have been lost to popular memory.

About the author:

Peter Cochrane's writing about war includes the award-winning Simpson and the Donkey- The Making of a Legend; the companion volume to the ABC TV series Australians at War; and two studies of wartime photography, The Western Front, 1916-18 and Tobruk 1941. Cochrane is also the author of Colonial Ambition- Foundations of Australian Democracy, which won the Age Book of the Year award and the Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History, and two works of fiction- the novella Governor Bligh and the Short Man and the recently published novel The Making of Martin Sparrow.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781925603750

Audience: General/trade

Language: English

Number of Pages: 288

Publication Date: 20180730

Publisher: The Text Publishing Company

Product Form: Paperback / softback

Dimensions (LxWxH): 234 mm153 mm20 mm 

Weight: 365 gr


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