This book examines Canada’s collective memory of the First World War through the 1920s and 1930s. It is a cultural history, considering art, music, and literature. Thematically organized into such subjects as the symbolism of the soldier, the implications of war memory for Canadian nationalism, and the idea of a just war, the book draws on military records, memoirs, war memorials, newspaper reports, fiction, popular songs, and films. It takes an unorthodox view of the Canadian war experience as a cultural and philosophical force rather than as a political and military event.
Jonathan Vance teaches in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of Objects of Concern: Canadian Prisoners of War through the Twentieth Century (UBC Press, 1994).
Jonathan Vance … is to be congratulated on his fine achievement in spelling out how Canadians met this collective need to commemorate their war-time participation, suffering and death … His success in pulling together the previous Canadian writings and sources, including his splendid use of illustrations … is altogether admirable, excellently researched, finely published.
One attractive feature of this book is the illustrations, more than 80 of them, accompanied by excellent captions.