Told through the words and actions of the Diggers themselves, it explores the essence of the Australian soldier and how he differs from other soldiers.

In many ways, the Digger is a study in contradictions: he doesn't crave war yet he will fight with unequalled ferocity; he hates spit and polish but will hold his disciplline under the most trying conditions; he is tough yet compassionate; he hates his enemy until he surrenders, then he is generous in victory; he despises histrionics but will cry unashamedly at the loss of a mate.

Recent praise

Courage, mateship, endurance, selflessness, devotion, independence, audacity, humour. And this isn’t the half of it. Throw in resilience, self-reliance and compassion and Patrick Lindsay’s list of the Digger’s qualities is still not complete.
Lindsay isn’t claiming the Australian soldier to be the best in the world. ‘But he is up there with the best as a warrior and a compassionate man,’ he says. ‘Others may have some of his qualities but there is something about the Australian soldier under pressure that draws on things we have inherited from the land and settlement and the way we have come to terms with it. They are not all heroes but they are remarkable.’
The Spirit of The Digger and his previous book are part of Lindsay’s quest to establish what makes up the Australian character – he Digger, he thinks, is the key piece to the puzzle.
— James Hall, Weekend Australian
To Patrick, who has performed a great feat: he has captured the spirit of the Digger.
— General Peter Cosgrove AC MC