Beyond the Legend
Editor: Karl James, Australian War Memorial
Published by Cambridge University Press
RRP $71.95 in hardback • ISBN 9781107189713
It’s an understatement to say that this book brings together leading historians to re-examine the Kokoda campaign – the contributors acknowledgement reads like a who’s who of military history:
- Antony Beevor,
- Phillip Bradley
- Peter Dean,
- David Horner and
- Karl James
to name but a few. The chapters in this edited volume were first presented at the international conference Kokoda: Beyond the Legend convened at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, in September 2012, to mark the seventieth anniversary of the campaign.
Over the years, the story of Kokoda has been told and retold but these popular narratives rarely explore beyond this one campaign.
This book, however, critically assesses not only the campaigns in Papua and their context in the wider lengthy Pacific war, but also the actions of senior Australian, American and Japanese military leaders.
Moving beyond the popular legend, this book addresses the central question of why Kokoda holds such a significant place in Australian military history.
In this book, the stellar cast of eminent military scholars reassesses the principal battles from both Allied and Japanese perspectives, providing readers with a more complete understanding of one of the major turning points in the Second World War.