Then & Now
Edited by Tom Frame
Published by UNSW Press
RRP $39.99 in paperback
Anzac Day, Then and Now, challenges the reader to think again about the origins and purpose of Anzac Day.
A stellar cast of contributors – Peter Stanley, Jeffrey Grey, Carolyn Holbrook, Tom Frame and others – explore the rise of Australia’s unofficial national day.
Does it honour those who died pursuing noble causes in war? Or is it part of a campaign to redeem the savagery associated with armed conflict? Does the annual ritual console loved ones?
Contributors explore the early debate between grieving families and veterans about whether Anzac Day should be commemorated or celebrated, the effect of the Vietnam War, popular culture’s reflection on the day and our political leaders’ increasing profile in public commemorations.
This book is part of a series produced by the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (ACSACS), a UNSW Research Centre at ADFA, which has been established to become a focal point for academic research relating to the significant military anniversaries that lie ahead. Anzac Day, as Tom Frame writes, seems to embody a quest for the sanctity that now envelopes ‘the fallen’, whatever the personal failings and frailties of these long dead men.
The discussion will no doubt continue.