Battlefields of the South-West Pacific: Australian Soil Erosion, Enemies, Graziers, and Traitors in “Dust Bowl” Imagery
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This chapter introduces Australians such as William McKell, Sam Clayton, John (Jack) Bailey, Arthur G. Lowndes, Jock Pick, Mary Gilmore, Ken Hall, and broadcast journalist Bruce Miller to describe how ideas about enemies and traitors converged with the ideas of Bennett, the USDA, and the US SCS in Australia’s World War Two “dust bowl” narratives. The focus is on the fall of Singapore, war-time sentiment, drought, and soil erosion in New South Wales. The US imagery targeting the farmer centered on over-plowing wheat farmers, not overstocking sheep farmers (graziers). However, Australians employed this New Deal rhetoric in films, political speeches, broadcast radio, and literature to strengthen re-interpretations of Australian national mythologies about sheep, and the Anzacs in warnings of a US-style “dust bowl” at home.