Joan Beaumont is an internationally recognised historian of Australia in the two world wars, the history of prisoners of war and the memory and heritage of war. She is Professor of History at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, and has published several books about World Wars I and II.
Canberra Writers Festival events - host
China Matters: in conversation
Described as "simply the best all-round guide for how Australians must learn to live with China’s power", China Matters examines China’s unique dynamism and contradictions - ranging from business ties to the growing influence of the Chinese Government in Australia.
Sunday 27th August 2017, 1:30pm. University House, Australian National University.
Tickets: Adult $24.00; Concession $21.95; Junior $11.75
About the book
The Australian experience of war in all its complexity - from the homefront as well as the battlefront - as the men and women who experienced it chose to understand and remember it.
Winner of the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History.
The Great War is, for many Australians, the event that defined our nation. The larrikin diggers, trench warfare, and the landing at Gallipoli have become the stuff of the Anzac 'legend'. But it was also a war fought by the families at home. Their resilience in the face of hardship, their stoic acceptance of enormous casualty lists and their belief that their cause was just, made the war effort possible.
Broken Nation is the first book to bring together all the dimensions of World War I. Combining deep scholarship with powerful storytelling, Joan Beaumont brings the war years to life: from the well-known battles at Gallipoli, Pozieres, Fromelles and Villers-Bretonneux, to the lesser known battles in Europe and the Middle East; from the ferocious debates over conscription to the disillusioning Paris peace conference and the devastating 'Spanish' flu the soldiers brought home. We witness the fear and courage of tens of thousands of soldiers, grapple with the strategic nightmares confronting the commanders, and come to understand the impact on Australians at home and at the front of death on an unprecedented scale.
A century after the Great War, Broken Nation brings lucid insight into the dramatic events, mass grief and political turmoil that makes the memory of this terrible war central to Australia's history.
Broken Nation is published by Allen & Unwin.
Buy the book from the festival's bookshop partner Dymocks.