Phillip Schuler, a handsome young journalist from the Melbourne Age, covered the Gallipoli campaign alongside Charles Bean. His bravery was legendary. His dispatches were evocative and compassionate. He captured the heroism and horror for Australian newspaper readers in ways the meticulous yet dry prose of Bean never could.
Gallipoli would also propel Schuler on a collision course with his former friend and Age colleague Keith Murdoch, who made his name lobbying against the campaign after a brief visit to Anzac.
After his classic account of the campaign, Australia in Arms, was completed in early 1916, Schuler abandoned the relative safety of a correspondent's job and joined the AIF as a humble soldier. In June 1917, he was killed in Flanders. He was 27 years old.
Mark Baker's meticulously researched account of Schuler's brief but extraordinary life gives us a true insight into the man. As a correspondent, a lover and a soldier, Schuler left an indelible mark on all who encountered him. He was a shining light of the generation decimated by the war. Baker's biography gives us a new and compelling perspective on the power of journalism and Australia at war.