The book offers a highly readable re-evaluation of Charles Bean as official war correspondent with Australian Imperial Force troops during World War One, as major post-war historian, and the dedicated founder of the Australian War Memorial.
Truthful reports from the front should have included the suicidal commands and subsequent carnage of Australian troops, for example at The Nek. However, such accounts were in conflict with support for the Australian war effort and morale back home.
Bean's predicament, his regrets concerning self-censorship, and his later sweeping revisions are central to this biography, as are his time-bound bigotries. CEW Bean's moral journey challenged the mythology that helped forge national identity. His wartime dilemmas hold lessons for embedded journalists toda