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Crack Hardy three Australian brothers at war.


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Dando-Collins adroitly interweaves a compelling family history with the broader canvas of the Anzacs. Crack Hardy is a fine and important book.

About the Author

Stephen Dando-Collins is the author of the acclaimed Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny and a successful series of popular histories about the legions of ancient Rome: Caesar's Legion, Nero's Killing Machine , Cleopatra's Kidnappers, Mark Antony's Heroes. His historical novel The Inquest, was published in the US, Canada, Spain and Italy. Pasteur's Gambit was shortlisted for the science prize in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and won the Queensland Premier's Science Award.


Crack Hardy is an emotional story because it tells of a tragedy from which our country is only now beginning to recover. It is an epic. To be memorable, an epic needs powerful writing, and here it is. The book could have been so much less in the hands of someone less skilled. You will be greatly rewarded by reading this book. - Bill Gammage Wellington once said 'Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle won.' Crack Hardy is a beautifully scripted expose of one family's experience of war. The intimacy and accuracy of the Searle brothers' story does not glamorize conflict but poignantly illustrates the actions men take and the emotions they feel when confronted with the brutal circumstances of combat. Stephen Dando-Collins can rest assured that not only do the spirits, memories and history of his great uncles live through this tale, but also those of their comrades in arms and the families that loved them. Like Facey's A Fortunate Life, this book deserves to be required reading as part of the Australian history school curriculum. - Major General Michael Jeffery AC AO (Mil) CVO MC (Retd) Dando-Collins adroitly interweaves a compelling family history with the broader canvas of the Anzacs... Crack Hardy is a fine and important book. - The Sydney Morning Herald It's entertaining stuff... Crack Hardy presents the original Anzacs as men their ancestors can admire and understand. - The Australian Stephen Dando-Collins skilfully braids together the Searle brothers' story and that of Australia in the Great War, balancing the family's experience and tragedy against the broader canvas of a nation's war. - Dr Peter Stanley The narrative is copiously and meticulously documented, drawing throughout on a cache of family diaries, letters and photographs. Moreover, Dando-Collins pitches the story adeptly; the brother's travails are recounted in a way which is not too sentimental, not unduly melodramatic, rarely overwritten - The Canberra Times This well-researched and well-written book also helps explain how the Anzac spirit was forged and why it helped mould the Australian identity. - The Launceston Examiner If there is one book Tasmanians should read as Anzac Day nears, it is this wonderfully eloquent history. - Carlene Ellwood, Sunday Tasmanian

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