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The Anzac Illusion


  • 23 b/w illus. 3 maps
  • Page extent: 288 pages
  • Size: 254 x 178 mm
  • Weight: 0.802 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 940.3/2241
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: D547.A8 A53 1993
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Great Britain.--Army.--Australian and New Zealand Army Corps--History--World War, 1914-1918
    • World War, 1914-1918--Australia
    • World War, 1914-1918--Great Britain
    • Australia--Military relations--Great Britain
    • Great Britain--Military relations--Australia

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521419147 | ISBN-10: 052141914X)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published May 1994

Replaced by 9780521459891


The myth of Anzac has been one of Australia's most enduring. The belief in the superior fighting qualities of Australian soldiers in the First World War is part of national consciousness and the much touted "special" relationship of Britain and Australia during the War accepted as fact. This provocative and wide ranging book is a reassessment of Australia's role in World War I and its relations--military, economic, political and psychological--with Britain. Professor Andrews shows that it suited all parties--in Britain and Australia--to propagate the myth of Anzac for their own purposes.


Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The British Empire and Australia; 2. The bugles of England; 3. The War of the politicians; 4. The crucible of War: the AIF on the Western Front, 1916-1917; 5. The end of euphoria: Anglo-Australian political and economic relations, 1916-1917; 6. ANZACS and brasshats: the British high command and the Australians; 7. Of Britain and the British; 8. A peace of sorts; Conclusions - the post-war years; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Prize Winner

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Books for 1995


"This well-illusrated and nicely produced book is recommended, for it breathes new life into the subject of Australian-British ties in the twentieth century and is almost certain to lead to a reassessment." American Historical Review

"Although not strictly a military history, this thought-provoking and well-written book sheds great light on British-Australian relationships in the early 20th Century (especially World War I). In doing so, it reveals numerous historical "myths" that have continued to this day and deserves a wide readership." Infantry

"Andrew's excellent short book provides a fine study in mythmaking, especially in time of more pungent and exacting than any previous writer. The result is a model study of how wartime propaganda lives on long after the purpose for which it was created has been served...the author writes clearly and with broad strokes, making a difficult subject accessible to a variety of levels of readers..." R. W. Winks, Choice

"E.M. Andrews' The Anzac Illusion deals with an even more compelling moment in Australian history, and rises to that occasion with a more lively style and a more strongly argued position...." Thomas E. Tausky, Australian and New Zealand Studies in Canada

"This is an argumentative and at times choleric book of considerable achievement and value....the book is accomplished and convincing. The author has consulted every imaginable source and discussed just about every imaginable issue....this is a book of substance." J.D.B. Miller, Albion

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