Book review: Shadows of Anzac

BOOK: Shadows of Anzac
AUTHOR: David W. Cameron
PUBLISHER: Big Sky Publishing
RATING: $29.99

THERE has been much written about the Gallipoli campaign in which Australians and New Zealanders turned an awful mistake into the stuff of legends.

David Cameron's latest treatment of this dreadful campaign, however, gives an intimate perspective on some of the battles which made the Anzac legend what it is today.

Cameron has taken first-hand accounts of the battles and woven them into his latest book called Shadows of Anzac, an Intimate History of Gallipoli.

He has used diaries and letters to piece together a highly readable book from the ordinary soldier's perspective.

Other participants are not ignored and there are moving excerpts from nurses and Turkish soldiers and officers.

He also tells how sad the men were when they had to leave their comrades' graves behind as they miraculously evacuated the peninsula without a casualty.

The book is so readable because it places those writing actually in position on the battlefield and puts a lot of the events into an historical perspective that is easy to follow and understand.

He also tells us what happens to the men and women he is writing about. Many later died in France and Belgium; some returned home badly injured and died at relatively young ages.

Cameron has drawn on letters, diaries and other primary and secondary sources to provide an intimate and personal perspective of Anzac, a portrayal that describes the absurdity, monotony and often humour that sat alongside the horrors of the bitter fight.

For those looking for more detail about Gallipoli, this book would make a great addition to the bookshelves.

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