New book from Oxford: The War at Home


The War at Home:
Volume IV of the Centenary History of Australia and the Great War
By John Connor, Peter Stanley, Peter Yule
Published by Oxford University Press
RRP $59.95 in hardcover

This is the fourth book in the Centenary History of Australia and the Great War series from Oxford University Press. It has been funded through ‘the generosity and foresight of the Australian Army’ and supported as a project by successive Army chiefs. Well done.

As series editor Professor Jeffrey Grey writes, it is written for an ‘interested general audience’. Each of the authors has written a section:

John Connor on Politics

Peter Yule on the Economy

Peter Stanley on Society

These three sections are followed by bibliographic essays intended to point to the extensive body of literature on Australia and the Great War. It’s an interesting device which helps explain the background and context for each section.

The Society section is of great interest, particularly the section on anti-German feeling.

My own grandfather (he was Swiss, with a German name – my father changed it) was virtually forced to enlist, even though he was already married with six children. It was either that or internment. He was a cook but was never able to follow his profession again because of the injuries he suffered in the war. This was the price of demonstrating his loyalty.

This book, of all the volumes so far, engages my attention. I find it of great interest to understand how society functioned at home against the backdrop of a war taking place so far from our shores.

The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Series:

Volume 1: Australia and the War in the Air – Available

Volume 2: The War with the Ottoman Empire – Available

Volume 3: The War with Germany – Available

Volume 5: The Australian Imperial Force – April 2016

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