The place of Anzac in Australian historical consciousness

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Historical Studies, 2017, 48 (1), pp. 19 - 34
Issue Date:
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© 2017, Routledge. All Rights Reserved. There is an ever-greater popular attachment to the commemoration of Anzac Day in Australia, with growing commercial, popular and institutional support around the country. This resurgence has also generated significant disagreement among historians, shaping the historiography of Anzac in recent years and raising important questions about Australia’s current obsession with Anzac: is it a reflection of increasing popular historical engagement, or an ideologically driven ‘mobilisation’ of the past? While various scholars have sought to unpack and understand this potent phenomenon of national sentiment, this article, based on a series of oral interviews with ordinary Australians in selected communities, reveals an uncertainty and complexity in many vernacular responses to Anzac that need to be included if that commemorative sentiment is to be properly understood.
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