- Everyone: LOKI NO
- Loki: LOKI YES
- Loki: Okay yeah, Loki no.
I wish there was some sort of blanket you could cover yourself with but it didn’t make you warm it just provided the sensation of being covered because some nights it’s just too hot for a blanket but I need something covering me so it’s a choice between boiling to death or being completely vulnerable to monsters
greenkneehighs said: Any good recommendations on books specifically about Canada and WWI?
Tough one!! I’m gunna throw a little plug in here for a neat website because it’s relevant. The local university set up a website all about Victoria, BC and WWI. They have some amazing photos and info all for free and it’s really, really cool.
Anyways, some awesome books I’d recommend are:
Well Pierre Berton is one of my favourite Canadian historians because he’s pretty unbiased as far as history goes, and he has a great writing style and he’s solid in his facts. He wrote one about Vimy, called Vimy which I highly recommend. Berton is much more pop history, but he’s the tolerable kind of pop history and he’s very very good regardless.
Tim Cook is another very solid Canadian historian. He’s much more academic than Pierre Berton, if that’s what your looking for. Now he’s written a lot of really solid articles, but he does have one good book about the Canadian Gas Corps and chemical warfare in the Canadian military. It’s called No Place to Run. (Personal love because chemical warfare!!)
Cook has some other decent stuff such as:
- Canadians Fighting the Great War
- The Madman and the Butcher
Also shameless plug for my darling Glamour Boys. G. W. L. Nicholson wrote a book called The Fighting Newfoundlander, which is all about the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Not all of it focused on WWI, but the RNF have a very neat history regarding WWI. Worth noting that there’s an online database about the RNF during WWI. You can find the attestation papers of all the newfies, some nice info about their involvement and the war diaries of the RNF which is SO COOL.
CBC Radio also did a very controversial broadcast telling the first-hand accounts of WWI Veterans for the 50th’s anniversary. If you find a transcript, take it with a grain of salt because it’s very biased and the interviewers are pieces of shite.
- The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy by John Griffith Armstrong
- A Military History of Canada, Desmond Morton
- Silent Battle: Canadian Prisoners of War in Germany by Desmond Morton
- Canadian Expeditionary Force by G. W. L. Nicholson
- Surviving Trench Warfare: Technology and the Canadian Corps by Bill Rawling
Unfortunately Canadian historianship is generally laughably small and/or shitty and I don’t want to recommend anything shitty. Those are your best bets. In terms of serious and honestly accurate books about Canada and WWI, you’re a bit out of luck because even the textbooks are laughably stupid and over or under state the importance of Canada during WWI.
Some more suggestions here, but I haven’t read or even set eyes upon most of these.
Those are some excellent sources. I’ll throw in just a couple more(some of which are mentioned in the Vimy Foundation link)
- Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War by Jonathan F. Vance. Vance has published a number of Canadian history works. This one(which won the Dafoe Book Prize and the John A. Macdonald prize) is a little older now(c.1997), but it’s a good read. It discusses how the war was portrayed and memorialized, through paintings, propaganda, memorials, and so on. The book does go beyond the war years, since a lot of it is concerned with how the war was remembered. The endnotes and bibliography are good jumping points for other WWI resources, as well.
- Maple Leaf Empire: Canada, Britain, and Two World Wars by Jonathan F. Vance. Obviously this one isn’t exclusively WWI, and it’s a bit more social history than strict military history. It deals with the Canadian soldiers’ reception and experiences in Britain, and how the relationship between Canada and Britain evolved over the World Wars time period.
- Billy Bishop: The Courage of the Early Morning by William Arthur Bishop. A biography of Billy Bishop, the WWI Ace. Note: this was written by Bishop’s son, so while it’s a good and interesting read, there is a significant possibility of bias.
- Canada and the First World War: Essays in Honour of Robert Craig Brown, edited by David Mackenzie. A collection of academic essays that cover various topics within the scope of Canada’s WWI experience. The readability and accessibility of the essays vary with the authors and with the reader’s previous knowledge of WWI history, but it’s a pretty good collection, and again, the notes are great places to find more resources to check out.
I vastly prefer Pierre Berton and Tim Cook’s writing styles to Vance’s(love love Cook’s two volume Canadians Fighting the Great War), but the Vance works are not awful. I’ve really been hoping there might be some good new works out over the next few years, considering the 100th anniversary of WWI. There may be. Probably the biggest problem will be sorting out the good from the bad. I’m kind of surprised that the new “History of Canada” series doesn’t include a book on WWI, at least, not yet. Probably the closest is “Death on Two Fronts: National Tragedies and the Fate of Democracy in Newfoundland, 1914-34” by Sean Cadigan. I have this on on my shelf but haven’t read it yet. It looks like at least some of it discusses WWI, though of course Newfoundland was not a part of the country of Canada at the time, so it’s up to you if that counts as Canada and WWI. Some of the Canadian military groups are 100 this year as well, so there may be a few things related to that happening(due to budget issues, it’s not terribly likely though). The PPCLI and the Van-Doos are both 100. But I’ve gone a bit off topic.
If you’re looking for fiction, or less academic non-fiction there are some options there as well. The following examples are written by Canadians and are about WWI or related in some way. They aren’t necessarily amazing books, just some examples of Canadian-authored WWI works by people who were around at the time.
- Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, 1921. Part of the Anne of Green Gables series. Some of the characters end up fighting in the war. Try to get the full version, not the abridged one that was common before 2010.
- The Sky Pilot in No Man’s Land by Ralph Connor, 1919(can be found on Project Gutenberg)
- Shrieks and Crashes by W. B. Kerr, 1929. Memoir of an artilleryman. Looks like this one might be hard to get ahold of outside of academic circles(uni libraries maybe)though.
- All Else is Folly, by Peregrine Acland, 1929. A novel.(can be found on Project Gutenberg Canada)
- Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan, 1941. A novel about the 1917 Halifax explosion, not WWI, but what the hey.
- Generals Die in Be by C.Y. Harrison, 1930. (see Project Gutenberg Canada)
*procrastinates doing things I love for an unknown reason*
Whenever I hear people say that classical music is boring I just want to remind them that Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture called for a cannon to be fired a total of 16 times.