Anzac's Long Shadow

Redback Quarterly

Book 4
Black Inc.
7
Free sample

‘A century ago we got it wrong. We sent thousands of young Australians on a military operation that was barely more than a disaster. It’s right that a hundred years later we should feel strongly about that. But have we got our remembrance right? What lessons haven’t we learned about war, and what might be the cost of our Anzac obsession?’

Defence analyst and former army officer James Brown believes that Australia is expending too much time, money and emotion on the Anzac legend, and that today’s soldiers are suffering for it.

Vividly evoking the war in Afghanistan, Brown reveals the experience of the modern soldier. He looks closely at the companies and clubs that trade on the Anzac story. He shows that Australians spend a lot more time looking after dead warriors than those who are alive. We focus on a cult of remembrance, instead of understanding a new world of soldiering and strategy. And we make it impossible to criticise the Australian Defence Force, even when it makes the same mistakes over and over. None of this is good for our soldiers or our ability to deal with a changing world. With respect and passion, Brown shines a new light on Anzac’s long shadow and calls for change.

"Bold, original, challenging - James Brown tackles the burgenoning Anzac industry and asks Australians to re-examine how we think about the military and modern-day service." - Leigh Sales

"The best book yet written, not just on Australia's Afghan war, but on war itself and the creator/destroyer myth of Anzac." - John Birmingham

James Brown is a former Australian Army officer, who commanded a cavalry troop in Southern Iraq, served on the Australian taskforce headquarters in Baghdad, and was attached to Special Forces in Afghanistan. Today he is the Military Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy where he works on strategic military issues and defence policy. He also chairs the NSW Government’s Contemporary Veterans Forum. He lives in Sydney.
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About the author

Captain James Brown is a former Australian Army officer, who commanded a cavalry troop in Southern Iraq, served on the Australian taskforce headquarters in Baghdad, and was attached to Special Forces in Afghanistan. Today he is the Military Fellow at the Lowy Institute, where he works on military issues and defence policy, and is also an Australian Army Military Research Fellow. James Brown lives in Sydney.

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4.9
7 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Black Inc.
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Published on
Feb 15, 2014
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781922231352
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / General
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Nationalism & Patriotism
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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If the high priests of economics want the credit for Australia’s economic growth over the last three decades, they must also wear the blame for the social destruction that has accompanied it – the devastation of once prosperous industrial centres and the suburbs they sustained, as factories closed and workers were forced to abandon their trades. The social costs of this ‘economic modernisation’ have been immense, but today are virtually ignored. The fracturing of communities continues apace.

An Economy Is Not a Society is a passionate and personal J’accuse against the people whose abandonment of moral policy making has ripped the guts out of Australia’s old industrial communities, robbed the country of manufacturing knowhow, reversed our national ethos of egalitarianism and broken the sense of common purpose that once existed between rulers and ruled.

Those in power, Dennis Glover argues, must abandon the idea that a better society is purely about offering individuals more dollars in their pockets. What we desperately need is a conversation about the lives, working conditions, jobs and communities we want for ourselves and our families – and we need to choose a future that is designed to benefit all the Australian people, not just some.

Dennis Glover is the son and brother of Dandenong factory workers. He grew up in Doveton before studying at Monash University and King’s College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a PhD in history. He has worked for two decades as an academic, newspaper columnist, political adviser and speechwriter to Labor leaders and senior ministers.
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