Crises and Commitments


By Peter Edwards with Gregory Pemberton

Vietnam, First edition, Signed


Allen and Unwin in association with the Australian War Memorial, 1992. First edition, inscribed. 24cm x 18cm, pp. xix + 515, map eps, unclipped photographic dust jacket over black canvas boards.

Fine/Fine. Inscribed by the author to Nancy Viviani. “Viviani” also in ink on ffep.

Crises and Commitments is the first volume of the Official History of Australia’s involvement in Southeast Asian conflicts from 1948 to 1975. This book covers the domestic and international politics of Australia’s involvement in Southeast Asia, through the Malayan Emergency (1948-60) and the critical period of the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation (1963-66), up to the crucial commitment of the first battalion of Australian combat troops to the Vietnam, War, announced on 29 April 1965. Like the official historians of the 1914-18, 1939-45 and Korean wars, Peter Edwards has been granted unrestricted access to all relevant Australian Government records and an assurance of uncensored publication. Dr. Edwards tells for the first time the full story of Australian decision-making that led to the costly and controversial commitment to the Vietnam War. Crises and Commitments sets this decision-making in the context of both Australian domestic politics – elections, party splits, anti-war movements and the like – and international politics – the development of the Cold War, the growth of nationalist and communist movements in Southeast Asia and the changing policies of the great powers. The author’s unrestricted access to Australian Government records makes Crises and Commitments the authoritative account of the period. The book also draws extensively on material from the archives of Australia’s four principal allies – the United Kingdom, the United States, France and New Zealand. To supplement the documentary record, Dr. Edwards has interviewed politicians, officials and private citizens who were involved in the critical events of these years. As new copy of a rare and out-of-print book.