By clicking the links to Amazon.ca below (and then purchasing the books) Amazon gives me a commission of “up to” 8.9%. It doesn’t cost you a thing, but hopefully, a handful of sales each month will allow me to purchase one or two more rare books and write about them here.
New Books about Canada’s First World War:
The Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919: Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War by G.W.L Nicholson (1962). Re-issued by McGill-Queens University Press in 2015, this is the authoritative one-volume history of the war. Highly collectable in the first edition (often costing several hundreds of dollars) this edition is an affordable alternative of a must have book.
Polarity, Patriotism, and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914-1919 by Brock Millman. University of Toronto Press, 2016. In this engaging study, Millman examines the repressive policies of the Canadian government during the war, situating them within a social and historical context that is fascinating. A must read.
Canadian Literature of the First World War:
All Else is Folly by Peregrine Acland (1929). Re-issued by Dundurn, 2014. The first of Canada’s realistic war novels, and I maintain, the most important. I co-authored the introduction to this volume along with Brian Busby.
God’s Sparrows by Philip Child (1937). Re-issused by Dundurn in 2016. I wrote the introduction to this volume, which contains the most complete biographical account of Philip Child’s early life and war experiences yet published. Gaining access to Philip Child’s papers and unpublished war writing, I was also able to trace Child’s thirteen-year struggle to write this epic novel of the war.
And We Go On by Will R. Bird (1930). Re-issued by McGill Queens University Press in 2014. Introduction by David Williams, Canadian author and scholar. Billed as a memoir, And We Go On offers a private soldier’s account of the war, with many entertaining, though obviously fictional elements. Neither pure memoir nor fiction, it is an interesting account. It was re-written by Bird in the 1960’s and titled Ghosts Have Warm Hands.
Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison (1930). Re-issued by Annick Press after Hamilton’s Robert F. Nielsen resurrected the novel from obscurity many years ago. The most graphic Canadian novel of the war, Harrison portrays the sacking of Arras and includes gruesome depictions of trench fighting that are the equal of anything in the anti-war canon.
Why Stay We Here? by George Godwin (1930). Re-issued by Robert Thomson of Godwin Books in 2002. The most overlooked novel of Canada’s Great War, Godwin was a homesteader along the Fraser River in British Columbia. Rejected for service because of poor eyesight, he eventually was accepted at a private in the 29th Battalion, “Tobin’s Tigers” of Vancouver.
Canadian Poetry From World War I: An Anthology edited by Joel Baetz. Oxford University Press, 2009. Quite simply the best anthology of Canadian war poetry available.
The Great War As I Saw It by Canon Frederick George Scott (1922). Re-issued by McGill-Queens University Press in 2014. Universally loved by the men, Canon Scott was the senior chaplain of the First Canadian Division.