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Synopsis

Chris Masters, the country's foremost investigative journalist, turns his penetrating gaze on the modern Australian soldier. Moving away from our ongoing fascination with Anzac story, he looks at the rich and illuminating present to write a character study of the modern Australian soldier - war fighter, peacekeeper, street-level diplomat and aid worker.

Having been taken into their ranks in a way rarely before afforded an outsider, Masters gives heart and shape to the contemporary digger: how they are selected, how they are led, and how they are transformed from civilians to disciplined professional soldiers. And in asking if they are unique, he examines what it is that allows these young Australians to lend moral authority to communities teetering on the precipice of violence in places such as Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

By sharing the experiences of the young men and women who make up the Australian army, Masters puts under severe challenge the notion that soldiering is the province of dumb grunts. In doing so, he argues that the best measure of this country's military legend is found in the present. Uncommon Soldier is a rare and powerful work.

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    Uncommon Soldier

    It was great to read such positive commentary about our heroic soldiers. The ADF should spread the word instead of putting up with all the negative press from our biased media.

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    An excellent read

    This book fills so many gaps in knowledge on current Australian military history.

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    Uncomon soldier

    Great read they are still working through this mess yet.

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    Ex RAAF

    This book gives a tremendous insight into the work done by Australian soldiers deployed to the most dangerous places. As a retired Air Force Warrant Officer who served as a peacekeeper in a non-warlike environment, I am extremely proud of all members of the ADF who serve in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor, and do so with such professionalism. Chris Masters has done a great job with this book, and I agree with him that both the government and Defence need to do more to keep the people of Australia informed about how the ADF is assisting the people in countries that we are involved with.

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