Anzac's Long Shadow by James Brown | Black Inc.

Anzac's Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession

Awards for Anzac's Long Shadow

  • Longlisted for the 2014 John Button Prize

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White cover with blue silhouette of Trojan horse within blue and black border Photograph of military helicopter with empty bullet shells littering the ground

About the author

James Brown

James Brown is a former Australian Army officer, who commanded a cavalry troop in Southern Iraq, served on the Australian taskforce headquarters in Baghdad, and was attached to Special Forces in Afghanistan. Today he is Director of the Alliance 21 …

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Praise for Anzac's Long Shadow

‘Bold, original, challenging - James Brown tackles the burgenoning Anzac industry and asks Australians to re-examine how we think about the military and modern-day service.’ —Leigh Sales

‘The best book yet written, not just on Australia's Afghan war, but on war itself and the creator/destroyer myth of Anzac.’ —John Birmingham


Anzac's Long Shadow is refreshing and engaging. It is also frank and no-nonsense. James Brown sets himself apart as a leader in this new generation of Anzacs by asking the hard questions.’ —Peter Leahy, Chief of the Australian Army, 2002-08


‘One of Australia's most insightful strategic analysts, James Brown, lays bare our cult of Anzac. As our diggers return from war, this book is more necessary than ever before. It's now time for us to remember not only our fallen, but our living.’ —Michael Ware, Former CNN Baghdad correspondent.


‘Brown, as both an intelligent military theorist and an engaging storyteller, is able to tackle such a controversial issue with humour and candour. A personal, challenging and informative work [with] the potential to contribute a great deal to Australia’s understanding of our own military service, and how we think about war itself.’ —Readings Monthly


‘Brown is lucid, bright and fierce – exceptional qualities in a writer and, no doubt, a soldier – and he’s written an important prelude to our Anzac centenary.’ —Saturday Paper


‘It is the combination of academic insight and lived experience that gives this book its particular edge…. A good, a necessary and an important book.’ —Canberra Times


‘This is the most interesting and original book I have read on contemporary Australian public policy for a long time.’ —Judith Brett, The Monthly


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