In the shadow of Anzac: Labour historiography of the First World War in Australia

Carolyn Holbrook, Nathan Wise

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Australia is by far the most enthusiastic and profligate commemorator of the centenary of the First World War; a phenomenon that is closely connected to the fact that the war produced Australia's premier national myth, the Anzac legend. The dominance of the nationalist interpretation in Australia has masked important aspects of the war, such as the experience of the working class. This article reviews Australian labour historiography of the First World War. It argues that the dominance of the Anzac legend muted the generation of labour historians born during the inter-war years, who were under its nationalist thrall. More recent labour historians employ cultural methodologies, often in an attempt to counter the ubiquity of nationalist memory of the First World War in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-325
Number of pages12
JournalHistory Compass
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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