About the author

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 One and Two.

Image of Joan Beaumont

About the book

The Great War is, for many Australians, the event that defined our nation; larrikin diggers, trench warfare, Gallipoli, the stuff of the Anzac 'legend'. But it was also a war fought by the families at home; resilience in the face of hardship, stoic acceptance of casualty lists and belief in the cause.

A century after the Great War, Broken Nation brings together all dimensions of World War One, bringing lucid insight into the dramatic events, mass grief and political turmoil that makes the memory of this terrible war central to Australia's history.

 Australians in the Great War by Joan Beaumont

Allen & Unwin

Judges' Comments

Joan Beaumont's Broken Nation: Australians in the Great Wartakes a fresh approach to a well-known story.

Her lively book concurrently examines life at the military front and life on the home front—with special reference to the families of those who served with the Australian Imperial Force along with the domestic political debate.

The author details the trauma of the First World War while acknowledging that Australia had clearly identified war aims in 1914 and that Australians at the time supported the cause.

The author makes the point that, despite the cost, victory was achieved in 1918 and that the men of the Australian Imperial Force chose to remember their victories, rather than their defeats, on the field of battle.