Report on Experience
John Mulgan is famous as the author of the novel Man Alone (1939), one of the classic landmarks of a mature and independent New Zealand literature. His second book, Report on Experience, published posthumously in 1947, is one of the most clear-sighted and moving memoirs to emerge from the Second World War. From reflections on the New Zealand of his youth, Mulgan moves on to his experiences of the European war and the British army. Barracks life, the battles of El Alamein, and above all his months fighting with partisans in Axis-occupied Greece, are brought to vivid life.
‘A brilliant, thoughtful exposition of what war means to a local people, and what peace might offer a post-war world.’
—Vincent O’Sullivan, in The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature
‘What he has to say remains fresh, original and worth reflection; if we had had more John Mulgans, we might have had fewer world wars.’
—M. R. D. Foot, in the foreword
This new edition of Report on Experience is the first to restore the deletions and amendments of the original edition. Edited and introduced by leading New Zealand literary scholar Peter Whiteford, it contains a Preface by the author’s son, Richard Mulgan, and a Foreword by the doyen of British military historians, M. R. D. Foot.