One of the more contentious debates in Australian historiography has concerned the work of C.E.W. Bean, who is possibly this country’s best known (if perhaps not its most frequently read) war historian. No doubt much of the source of this contention is that Bean’s subject matter goes right to the heart of what many Australians consider as definitive of national identity – namely the “Anzac legend.” The issue clearly has much emotive potential, and the debate has at times been heated. Thus far, however, considerations of Bean’s work have remained almost entirely devoid of any considerations of theory – and in particular, of textual analyses. Rather, the chief protagonists in the debate have generally been more pre-occupied with questions of the factual accuracy of Bean’s accounts, as well as the reasonableness (given those facts) and internal consistency of his conclusions.