Due to planned maintenance, a number of eresources will be unavailable on Sunday 19 August. This includes Ancestry Library Edition, Ebooks and ProQuest.
The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia by Christina Twomey (NewSouth Publishing)
The Battle Within is a compelling study of the experience of homecoming for Australian prisoners of war. It expertly recounts the voices of the POWs as well as the diverse, often ambivalent public and official responses to these veterans’ bids for compensation, appropriate healthcare and livelihood support. The book brings extensive new materials to public view including diaries and letters, as well as medical reports and military records.
Twomey presents readers with powerful insights into how an idealised vision of Australian masculinity impacted responses to POWs in their struggles to return to civilian life. Comfortable notions about the qualities manifest by a ‘proper Australian soldier’ and a ‘real Australian man’ were upset by discomfort that ‘white Australians’ had capitulated to an Asiatic race. Traumatised POWs were problematic in postwar Australia for both practical and existential reasons.