War, colonialism and the emotions in Australian history

Kate Darian-Smith, Penelope Edmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


This issue of Australian Historical Studies features new research highlighting how key historical events have been a force in shaping Australian society and its nation-building efforts from the colonial period to the present.

The impact of the First World War on the Australian nation has long been documented and debated by historians, politicians and the public, with the current centenary generating a plethora of scholarly and popular publications and reflections. The lead article by Sybil Nolan examines how, during the 1920s and 1930s, Australia’s elite gentlemen’s clubs were reluctant to admit as members those men who had not enlisted for military service. Among those overlooked was the future prime minster, Robert Menzies. Drawing on unpublished correspondence, Nolan argues that Menzies’ failure to serve in the war and the subsequent charges of ‘disloyalty’, including a ‘snub’ from the establishment Melbourne Club, were to haunt his political career and contributed to his political identification with the middle class rather than the ‘rich and powerful’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • World War 1
  • Australia
  • Anzac legend


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