At the Sharp End Volume One: Canadians Fighting The Great War 1914 To 1916 Hardcover – Oct 9 2007
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About the Author
TIM COOK is the Great War historian at the Canadian War Museum, as well as an adjunct professor at Carleton University. His books have won numerous awards, including the 2008 J.W. Dafoe Prize for At the Sharp End and the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction for Shock Troops. In 2013, he received the Pierre Berton Award for popularizing Canadian history. He lives in Ottawa with his family.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author has clearly been studying this subject for years, as the details of battles and the experience of soldiers in combat are among the best in print. From the banality of trench warfare to the titanic battles of Second Ypres, Mount Sorrel, and the Somme, this book presents history as it should be. The words of the soldiers guide us in this tale, but its not just first-hand accounts strung together, as Cook offers deep insight into all levels of war: from the strategic to the operational, from tactics to individuals. In addition, tactics, weapons, and emerging doctrines are meshed with issues of combat motivation, medicine, and the importance of leave. While much of this has been covered by other historians over the years, no one to my mind has ever done it in such detail and with such verve.
Cook has done a great service to this generation that gave so much for their country. I simply can’t wait to read volume II.
Canadians should be proud of the heroic history detailed in these pages, but this book goes far beyond the average re-telling of familiar stories (at least, they used to be) and reminds us of the experiences of the everyman, the citizen-soldier of the Canadian Corps. These men saw unspeakable horrors yet still struggled on to maintain their own identities and to forge a new meaning, a new reality for their nation.
Yet this book does not only speak to these grand visions, it delves into the reality of being a soldier fighting for Canada in the Great War. We mustn't forget that on a day-to-day basis, reality meant staving off not the might of the Kaiser's forces, but rather boredom and the effects of squalid conditions. The humour, the camaraderie, the songs, the anti-authority opinions, the art, the experiences of young men being in a totally alien environment, are all part of this rich tapestry.
This book deserves a place on the bookshelves of all Canadians, and indeed of all those interested in the human experience of warfare in any time and place.
I really cannot wait for volume II but I am guessing I will be waiting a while, even so this is a fantastic book possibly the best on the subject I have yet to read. Fully recommended to both history enthusiasts and people who aren't buffs its easily readable and understandable by even a casual reader with little knowledge of military terminology or tactics. Mr.Cook does a fine job of explaining these aspects all the while keeping the personal experiences poring through giving the book a less academic and more personal perspective.
Although this book could very well be an academic history book, because he has missed nothing!I am almost sad to have finished it, and highly suggest all Canadians of all walks read this book and gain a true appreciation for the people that fought, the wounded, the scarred and traumatized and the ones who paid the supreme sacrifice, to make our great country what it is today.
It was 90 odd years ago and the last of the vets have died, and our WWII vets are fewer and fewer in number every November 11th. The only way we will be able to fully appreciate our for fathers is to keep their experiences, their words and their legacy alive.
The Men of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the women who served were every bit our founding fathers as those in the 1860's who founded responsible government.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a great book to learn about how
Canadians fought in the First World War. It is very well written.
I loved the book! An accurate detailed account of the Canadians fighting in WW1 with a tremendous amount of personal detail I have never found in another publication! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Raymond
A superlative two part history of the Canadian Forces in WW1 this one including the Battle of Vimy Ridge, where my paternal Scottish Great Uncle was killed with the Fife and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Robert T. Boyter
When you first pick up "At the Sharp End" you'll be amazed at how much this definitive two-volume history of the Great War reads like a carefully choreographed, personal narrative... Read morePublished on March 26 2010 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
A stark reminder of what a pitiful job we do of telling the story of Canada's contribution to the modern world - except for books like this one. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2009 by Kelly G. Dundas
I couldn't believe how well written this series of books was. Beautiful story telling with attention to detail. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2009 by Lori Davenport
Mr. Cook seems to cover all aspects of trench warfare. If you are looking to understand what life was like on the Western front, this is the book for you. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2008 by Patrick Sullivan