The War At Home - Book Launch

Natalia Komarova | 12 Nov 2015

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On Tuesday, 10 November, Dr Mathew Trinca, Director, National Museum of Australia, officially launched The War at Home, written by Dr John Connor & Professor Peter Stanley, UNSW Canberraand Dr Peter Yule, University of Melbourne, Volume 4of the five volume series The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War edited by Professor Jeffrey Grey, UNSW Canberra and published by Oxford University Press. 

War At Home Book            

The War at Home interprets the experience of the Australian people during the Great War in Australia itself, in the politics of war, its economic and social effects, and in the experience of war; what is conventionally called ‘social history’. It seeks to show that the war affected many aspects of Australians’ lives—and that people’s experience of 1914–18 included more than just the war. It also addresses the impact of the war on Australia’s culture and artistic responses to the war.

This volume draws on the uneven but still substantial body of scholarship that has grown up in the decades since Ernest Scott’s official history appeared in 1936, which in turn has largely been founded on an array of sources mainly made available since then. The Bibliographic Essay discusses the secondary literature on which it is based. It also reflects the experience of the years since then.


Before understanding the way the Great War affected Australians, we need to acknowledge the texture of life in 1914. Australia before the Great War was, as Michelle Hetherington writes in a survey of the last full year of peace, ‘a world of glorious possibilities’, in which as a social laboratory of progressive social, industrial and economic legislation it was ‘eager to learn, to develop, to dream’. The war would damage that dream, arguably fatally.

The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War series has been commissioned by the Chief of Army to be released during the Centenary of the Great War. It provides authoritative, accessible and provocative accounts of all facets of the Great War, from the conduct of operations against Turkey and Germany and the political, social and economic dimensions of the war effort back in Australia, to the composition, nature and experience of the Australian Imperial Force overseas.

The series presents a wide-ranging accessible account of one of the formative events in Australian history for a new generation of readers at a time – the Centenary – when many people will want to delve more deeply into the events and their significance. Written primarily by UNSW Canberra historians it combines wide-ranging scholarship and extensive use of the archival record, including many sources unavailable to CEW Bean, Australia's official war historian in the 1920s and 1930s or previously not used by historians.


Other titles in this series that are published during the Centenary of the Great War include: 
Volume 1: Australia and the War in the Air, Volume 2: The War with the Ottoman Empire; Volume 3: The War with Germany; Volume 4: The War at Home; still to be launched Volume 5: The Australian Imperial Force

Media contact: Natalia Komarova, UNSW Canberra (02) 6268 8760 / 0468 989 181,

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