- Not Playing the Game: Sport and Australia's Great War
Not Playing the Game: Sport and Australia's Great War
War remembrance and sport have become increasingly entwined in Australia, with AFL and NRL Anzac Day fixtures attracting larger crowds than dawn services. National representative teams travel halfway around the world to visit battle sites etched in military folklore. The air of sombre reflection that surrounds each Anzac Day is accompanied by a celebratory nationalism that sport and war supposedly embody.
But what exactly is being remembered, and indeed forgotten, in these official commemorations and tributes? Xavier Fowler reveals that the place of sport in the Great War was highly contested. Civilian patriots and public officials complained that spectator sport distracted young men from enlisting and wasted public finances better spent elsewhere. Sport's defenders argued it was a necessary escape for a population weary of the pressures of war.
Not Playing the Game: Sport and Australia's Great War challenges the way our memories of the war are influenced by the fervour of sport, painting a picture not of triumph but immense turmoil and tragedy.
Shortlisted - 2022 Les Carlyon Literary Prize.
Details: Non-fiction, published 2021.
Format: Soft cover, illustrations (photographs), 288 pages.
Dimensions: 23.3 cm (h) x 15.4 cm (w) x 2.1 cm (d) / 394 grams.