MARCHING TO ARMAGEDDON: CANADIANS AND THE GREAT WAR 1914-1919
Desmond Morton and J.L. Granatstein.
Volume 17 Number 5
Morton and Granatstein are well known and highly respected Canadian historians.ln Marching to Armageddon they have written a book that is readable and informative. Both the battlefield convulsions and tragedies and the changes in Canada are explained clearly. The story, however, doesn't get "bogged down" in a plethora of statistics and grim descriptions. There are several examples of interesting and telling instances of the influence of the war on Canadians. In Winnipeg, hamburgers were renamed "nips." Orchestras stopped playing Wagner and Beethoven. Berlin, Ontario, became Kitchener. A Toronto teacher, Harry Erland Lee, tried to tell his classes about both sides of the war. He was dismissed by the board and became the first Toronto teacher killed in the war. Native Indians were welcome despite official fears that "they might not enjoy the privileges of civilized warfare." Blacks found it impossible to enlist until "coloureds" were finally allowed to join a labour company in 1916!Complementing the text are 150 black-and-white and colour illustrations. The selection is varied and impressive and the quality of the reproductions is first rate. Eleven maps add to the descriptions of battles and their locations. An appendix includes information about Canadian divisions, enlistments and casualties, and social and economic change in Canada. Regrettably, there is no bibliography included. There are two references to the historian Denis Winter, but no mention of the title of his book. There is much to this book. For its size, it is as complete as any book on Canada and the Great War. The text is balanced and the interpretations and critical comments are thoughtful and insightful. Highly recommended. A volume on World War II is due in September.
J.D. Ingram, Gordon Bell High School, Winnipeg, MB.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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