From my list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front.
Who am I?
I’m an experienced historian, biographer, and storyteller. I’ve written widely about Australian politics, social history, sport, and World War I. My biography of Australia’s most famous fighting general, Pompey Elliott, won multiple national awards, and I assembled his extraordinary letters and diaries in a separate book, Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. Another biography, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, about a remarkably versatile artist–writer who was Australia’s first official war artist, was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. My multi-biography Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, and I’ve written a sequel, Life So Full of Promise.
Ross' book list on WWI Australia in the battlefields and home front
Why did Ross love this book?
The Broken Years is a wonderful book about what Australian soldiers thought and felt during the war.
It originated in Bill Gammage’s PhD thesis, which was the first systematic study of the soldiers’ letters and diaries collected by the Australian War Memorial. The result is an illuminating and moving masterpiece, which proved transformational.
When he began his thesis he was in unfamiliar territory, as the concentrated use of these sources was unprecedented — in fact, military history itself was not popular. But he persevered, gradually sensing he was on to something, and indeed he was.
The Broken Years became an enduring classic. It was personally very influential for me during the 1970s when I was a dissatisfied, recently graduated lawyer considering a change to something more aligned with my interest in history. I took the plunge, left the law, and I’ve been a historian and biographer ever since.