The Anzacs: 100 Years On in Story and Song is unique contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of the Anzacs. Ted Egan weaves personal stories and songs into a highly readable history of the Anzacs and the two nations, with amusing anecdotes and tales of great courage and ingenuity serving to leaven somewhat the brutal truth exposed, of a tragic and senseless war. The soldiers, nurses, politicians, wives, and the mothers who lost their sons, or welcomed them home severely damaged, all feature in this book and its songs.
Egan’s stories and poignant songs infuse the facts with the pain and loss (of life and innocence) and suffering that this war created both on the battlefields and in every Australian and New Zealand home.
Listening to the songs is an unmissable, profoundly illuminating experience – you cannot fail to feel deeply and viscerally every chapter of this historical period, as if you were there – the excitement of the big adventure, the horrendous reality, the ultimate betrayal by the leaders of the day, the grim legacy of the aftermath for so many. The loss of innocence.
Ted Egan deplores the war, but in this book and songs, he salutes the spirit of the Anzacs – their blind impulsive bravery, their irrepressible larrikinism and steadfast loyalty to their mates that created heroes from these volunteers and conscripts.
‘Ted Egan’s The Anzacs 100 years On in Story and Song is a tour de force of Australia’s involvement in WW1, from the distress, agony and destruction to the achievements, bravery and heroics of the diggers and their great leaders, Monash and Chauvel. This is superb social and cultural history with a dose of realism when others, through ignorance or agendas, steer clear of the integrity of events. He sees history as it was rather than how he would like it to be. The bonus of excellent music (on an enclosed disc), an Egan forte, delivers an extra dimension to the sense of place and time.’
– Professor Roland Perry AO, award-winning author of numerous acclaimed biographies, histories and fiction works.