For Home and Empire is the first book to compare voluntary wartime mobilization on the Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand home fronts. Steve Marti shows that collective acts of patriotism strengthened communal bonds, while reinforcing class, race, and gender boundaries. Which jurisdiction should provide for a soldier’s wife if she moved from Hobart to northern Tasmania? Should Welsh women in Vancouver purchase comforts for hometown soldiers or Welsh ones? Should Māori enlist with a local or an Indigenous battalion? Such questions highlighted the diverging interests of local communities, the dominion governments, and the Empire. Marti applies a settler colonial framework to reveal the geographical and social divides that separated communities as they organized for war.
Steve Marti is a historian based in Kingston, Ontario. He is a co-editor of The Great War: From Memory to History and Fighting with the Empire: Canada, Britain, and Global Conflict, 1867–1947.
Steve Marti’s lively and informative monograph For Home and Empire: Voluntary Mobilization in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand during the First World War will be a worthwhile addition to the reading list of anyone interested in understanding the impact of the Great War on the British Empire.
Marti’s research is impressive and suggestive, and the comparative approach will add substantially to further efforts to understand the Great War in the British Dominions.
Marti weaves together multiple strands of historiography to present fresh insights into the wartime societies of Australia, New Zealand and Canada...[his] level of detail and meticulously supported arguments offer little room for critique.