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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Best We Forget : The War for White Australia, 1914–18
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In the half-century preceding the Great War there was a dramatic shift in the mindset of Australia’s political leaders, from a profound sense of safety in the Empire’s embrace to a deep anxiety about abandonment by Britain.

'Collective memory now recalls a rallying to the cause in 1914, a total identification with British interests and the need to defeat Germany. But there is an underside to this story: the belief that the newly federated nation’s security, and its race purity, must be bought with blood.

'Before the war Commonwealth governments were concerned not with enemies in Europe but with perils in the Pacific. Fearful of an ‘awakening Asia’ and worried by opposition to the White Australia policy, they prepared for defence against Japan—only to find themselves fighting for the Empire on the other side of the world. Prime Minister Billy Hughes spoke of this paradox in 1916, urging his countrymen: ‘I bid you go and fight for white Australia in France.’

'In this vital and illuminating book, Peter Cochrane examines how the racial preoccupations that shaped Australia’s preparation for and commitment to the war have been lost to popular memory.'  (Publication abstract) 

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 5615327165334240766.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 272p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 30 July 2018 

      ISBN: 9781925603750

Works about this Work

[Review] Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914–18 Evan Smith , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Historical Studies , vol. 50 no. 3 2019; (p. 395-396)

— Review of Best We Forget : The War for White Australia, 1914–18 Peter Cochrane , 2018 multi chapter work criticism

'One of the concerns of the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia was a fear of invasion by Asia from the north, either by force or through immigration. In the lead-up to World War I, white Australia saw national security and border security as intertwined. Historians have often separated these concerns, with military and diplomatic historians focusing on the defence strategies of Australia in the early 1900s and their links with the security concerns of the British Empire, while immigration historians have focused on the use of the border control system to maintain the ‘White Australia Policy’ and exclude non-white migrants. Peter Cochrane’s book Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914–18 looks to synthesise these two histories. This is not an entirely new endeavour – Anthony Burke wrote a book in the early 2000s on the history of Australia’s fear of invasion, bringing together these ideas of defence, national security and border control. But Cochrane’s book is aimed not just at an academic audience and was written with the general public in mind.' (Introduction)

'Fields of the Past' : The Battle Between History and Memory Marilyn Lake , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August no. 403 2018; (p. 11-12)

 'In pondering the construction of public memory in Ireland, the eminent American historian Richard White insisted on the demythologising work of history as a discipline: ‘History is the enemy of memory. The two stalk each other across the fields of the past, claiming the same terrain. History forges weapons from what memory has forgotten or suppressed.’ In Best We Forget: The war for white Australia, 1914–18, Peter Cochrane wants to jog Australia’s memory by reminding us that the celebrated myth of Anzac obscures a problematic history. But in joining the battle between history and memory, he notes the warning of his friend, the late John Hirst, who wrote: ‘My own view is that history will never beat myth.’ But does this assumed opposition really hold?'  (Introduction)

[Review] Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914–18 Evan Smith , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Historical Studies , vol. 50 no. 3 2019; (p. 395-396)

— Review of Best We Forget : The War for White Australia, 1914–18 Peter Cochrane , 2018 multi chapter work criticism

'One of the concerns of the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia was a fear of invasion by Asia from the north, either by force or through immigration. In the lead-up to World War I, white Australia saw national security and border security as intertwined. Historians have often separated these concerns, with military and diplomatic historians focusing on the defence strategies of Australia in the early 1900s and their links with the security concerns of the British Empire, while immigration historians have focused on the use of the border control system to maintain the ‘White Australia Policy’ and exclude non-white migrants. Peter Cochrane’s book Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914–18 looks to synthesise these two histories. This is not an entirely new endeavour – Anthony Burke wrote a book in the early 2000s on the history of Australia’s fear of invasion, bringing together these ideas of defence, national security and border control. But Cochrane’s book is aimed not just at an academic audience and was written with the general public in mind.' (Introduction)

'Fields of the Past' : The Battle Between History and Memory Marilyn Lake , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August no. 403 2018; (p. 11-12)

 'In pondering the construction of public memory in Ireland, the eminent American historian Richard White insisted on the demythologising work of history as a discipline: ‘History is the enemy of memory. The two stalk each other across the fields of the past, claiming the same terrain. History forges weapons from what memory has forgotten or suppressed.’ In Best We Forget: The war for white Australia, 1914–18, Peter Cochrane wants to jog Australia’s memory by reminding us that the celebrated myth of Anzac obscures a problematic history. But in joining the battle between history and memory, he notes the warning of his friend, the late John Hirst, who wrote: ‘My own view is that history will never beat myth.’ But does this assumed opposition really hold?'  (Introduction)

Last amended 1 Aug 2018 09:49:14
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