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The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War Paperback – Nov 1 2016

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Product details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: BETWEEN THE LINES (Nov. 1 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1771132752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1771132756
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #144,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


McKay and Swift have boldly challenged one of Canada’s most heretofore unassailable historical myths: that Canada became a nation on the battlefield of Vimy Ridge. Their accurate dissection of the actual events of that 1917 battle and their denunciation of the subsequent glorification of the Great War itself are a long overdue rebuttal to the excessively patriotic prose fed to us by the usual Drums & Bugles brigade of historians. A well-written and well-researched commentary. – Scott Taylor, editor/publisher of Esprit de Corps magazine The Vimy Trap shows us with skill and compassion how difficult it is to honor those who die in war without glorifying war itself. A tract for the times. – Jay Winter, Charles J. Stille Professor of History, Yale University Challenging, absorbing, and, at times, defiantly critical, The Vimy Trap is essential reading for anyone interested in the history behind Canada’s conventional First World War narrative. – Laura Brandon, author of Art or Memorial? The Forgotten History of Canada’s War Art Uncomfortable and inconvenient questions are signs of a robust culture, especially when they are about war and how it is remembered. McKay and Swift have taken up the torch with vigour, detail, and irony. Read on. – R.H. Thomson, producer, The World Remembers – Le Monde se Souvient What a revelation this book is. The Vimy Trap offers a detailed look at how a relatively unimportant First World War battle has somehow been rebranded as a defining moment in Canadian history. McKay and Swift unpack the politics and propaganda at the heart of this change, revealing just how complex and contested our sense of ourselves and our country’s past can be. – Michael Crummey, poet, novelist, and co-writer of the CBC documentary Newfoundland at Armageddon

About the Author

Ian McKay is the L.R. Wilson Chair in Canadian History at McMaster University and the author of the award-winning Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People’s Enlightenment in Canada, 1890–1920 and the co-author of Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in the Age of Anxiety. Kingston writer Jamie Swift is the author of numerous books. He works on social justice issues for the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.

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