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In this book Carolyn Holbrook examines the history of how Australians have thought and written about the First World War and, in particular, the Anzac legend over the past 100 years. She places these ideas in context, discussing how changing ideological movements, intellectual fashions and moral beliefs have shaped the way memories and understandings of the war have been articulated over time in complex ways.
Like others, Holbrook challenges the significance frequently attributed to Gallipoli and the Anzacs in terms of the birth of Australian nationhood. But she also gives us a way of understanding how this and other ideas about this war have evolved and shaped the public imagination. Attentive to the complexities and wide range of often-conflicting views that have nevertheless made the Anzac legend so powerful, Holbrook has provided a new perspective on this legend and given us fresh insights into how public memories are shaped and reshaped over time.