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History Post-confederation (1867-)

The Frontier of Patriotism

Alberta and the First World War

edited by Adriana A. Davies & Jeff Keshen

contributions by David Borys, Juliette Champagne, Brett Clifton, Catherine C. Cole, Rory Cory, Duff Crerar, Michael Dawe, L. James Dempsey, Antonella Fanella, Alvin Finkel, Ryan Flavelle, David Gallant, Stephen Greenhalgh, Jarett Henderson, Mark Osborne Humphries, Chris Hyland, Kathryn Ivany, Allan Kerr, Norman Knowles, J. Whitney Lackenbauer, Robert Lampard, Michale Lang, Kassandra Luciuk, Rod McLeod, John Matthews, Peter McKenzie-Brown, Sean Moir, Patricia Myers, Allan Rowe, Robert Rutherdale, Amy Shaw, Donald J. Smith, Paul Stortz, Doug Styles, Ken Tingley, Aritha Van Herk, Donald G. Wetherell & Anthony Worman

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Post-Confederation (1867-), Social History, World War I, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
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    Publish Date
    Aug 2016
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With the centenary of the First World War, communities across Canada arranged commemorations of the war experience to honour local servicemen who, through their triumphs and sacrifices, were presented as laying the foundation for a free and independent country. Often overlooked are the triumphs and sacrifices of those who supported those soldiers, and the war effort in general, back at home. The Frontier of Patriotism provides an in-depth look at all aspects of Alberta’s involvement in the war, reflecting Albertans’ experiences both on the battlefield and on the home front. Contributors of the 40 essays all draw heavily on national and local archival resources. The war is seen through the letters, diaries and memoirs of the individuals who lived through it, as well as through accounts in local newspapers.

Readers will come away from this collection with a deeper appreciation of the different ways that the First World War, and its aftermath, shaped the lives of Albertans. For many, these four tumultuous years represented a time of individual valour and of communities pulling together and sacrificing for a noble cause. Yet, for others, the war left disillusionment and anger. Exploring these regional and local stories, as well as the national story, helps us understand the commonalities and distinctiveness of what it means to be Canadian. The Frontier of Patriotism is the most comprehensive treatment of Alberta during these critical, transformational years.

About the authors

Adriana A. Davies’s accomplishments include From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor (2014); The Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello (2016); and the anthology The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War (2016). From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History (Guernica 2021) places Italian immigrants in the narrative of Canadian nation building.


Adriana A. Davies' profile page

JEFF KESHEN is Dean of Arts at Mount Royal University. He is also an adjunct professor in the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

Jeff Keshen's profile page

David Borys' profile page

Juliette Champagne's profile page

Brett Clifton's profile page

Catherine C. Cole is an Edmonton-based arts and heritage consultant. Her exhibitions and publications deal with Western Canadian labour and social and industrial history. She is the project manager and guest curator of the virtual exhibitions Piece by Piece: The GWG Story and Before E-Commerce: A History of Canadian Mail Order Catalogues and the author of Inventive Spirit: Alberta Patents from 1905-1975.

Catherine C. Cole's profile page

Rory Cory's profile page

Duff Crerar is Instructor Emeritus of History, Department of Arts and Education, Grande Prairie Regional College.

Duff Crerar's profile page

Michael Dawe's profile page

L. James Dempsey's profile page

Antonella Fanella's profile page

Alvin Finkel has taught Canadian history at Athabasca University since 1978. His main areas of research and teaching are the history of social policy, labour history, and Western Canadian history. Best known for his co-authorship with Margaret Conrad of the two-volume History of the Canadian Peoples, his other publications include The Social Credit Phenomenon in Alberta and Our Lives: Canada after 1945. His latest book is Social Policy and Practice in Canada: A History.

Alvin Finkel's profile page

Ryan Flavelle's profile page

David Gallant's profile page

Stephen Greenhalgh's profile page

Jarett Henderson's profile page

Mark Humphries is an assistant professor of history at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he teaches war and society and military history. His books include The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health (forthcoming) and The Selected Papers of Sir Arthur Currie (2008). His article “War’s Long Shadow: Masculinity, Medicine, and the Gendered Politics of Trauma, 1914–1939” won the 2010 Canadian Historical Review Prize.

John Maker received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Ottawa in 2010. He currently teaches for the Royal Military College and is a professional researcher in Ottawa, Ontario.

Wilhelm J. Kiesselbach (translator) was born in Hamburg, Germany, where he completed a B.A. in English and journalism. After emigrating to the United States he was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army and spent seven years with Seventh Army Headquarters in Germany as translator and interpreter. For his service in Vietnam, he was decorated with the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star.

Mark Osborne Humphries' profile page

Chris Hyland's profile page

Kathryn Ivany's profile page

Allan Kerr's profile page

Norman Knowles teaches in the Department of History at the University of Calgary, and has written for Canadian Ethnic Studies and Ontario History, among other journals.

Norman Knowles' profile page

J. Whitney Lackenbauer's profile page

Robert Lampard is an adjunct professor of medical history at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

Robert Lampard's profile page

Michale Lang is Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Michale has written extensively for exhibitions and professional journals and has a Master of Arts in Historic Resource Management and a Master of Education in Administration and Curriculum Development from Gonzaga University. She is the author of two books published by RMB, in conjunction with the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies: An Adventurous Woman Abroad: The Lantern Slides of Mary T.S. Schaffer and Bears: Tracks through Time.

Michale Lang's profile page

Kassandra Luciuk is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. Her work explores how changing notions of Canadian citizenship interacted with ethnic identity during the Cold War. In a broader sense, her research interests include Canada, migration/ethnicity, state formation, and nationalism.

Kassandra Luciuk's profile page

Rod McLeod's profile page

John P. Matthews was a professor emeritus of English at Queen's University, Kingston.

John Matthews' profile page

Peter McKenzie-Brown's profile page

Sean Moir's profile page

Patricia Myers is a Fifth House Books author.

Patricia Myers' profile page

Allan Rowe's profile page

Robert Rutherdale's profile page

Amy Shaw's profile page

Donald J. Smith's profile page

Paul Stortz is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary.

Paul Stortz's profile page

Doug Styles' profile page

Ken Tingley came to Alberta with his family in 1956, first living in Royalties, just over the hill from Longview, where his father taught school. Every morning he could see the Rockies from his bedroom window, and recalls being invited with his parents to a real roundup at the Bews ranch. Ken Tingley was named the first Historian Laureate of Edmonton in 2010.

Ken Tingley's profile page

Aritha van Herk teaches Creative Writing, Canadian Literature and Contemporary Narrative. Her novels include Judith, The Tent Peg, No Fixed Address (nominated for the Governor General's Award for fiction), Places Far From Ellesmere (a geografictione) and Restlessness. Her critical works, A Frozen Tongue (ficto-criticism) and In Visible Ink (crypto-frictions) stretch the boundaries of the essay and interrogate questions of reading and writing as aspects of narrative subversion. With Mavericks: an Incorrigible History of Alberta (winner of the Grant MacEwan Author's Award) van Herk ventured into new territory, transforming history into a narratological spectacle. That book frames the new permanent exhibition that opened at the Glenbow Museum in 2007. van Herk is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and is active in Canada's literary and cultural life, writing articles and reviews as well as creative work. She has served on many juries, including the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She is well known in the broader community of the city, the province, and the country as a writer and a public intellectual.

Aritha Van Herk's profile page

Catherine Cavanaugh is an associate professor in the History and Women's Studies departments at Athabasca University.

Donald G. Wetherell's profile page

Anthony Worman's profile page


  • Winner, Gold Medal, Pub West Design Awards: Historical or Biographical Book
  • Winner, Gold Medal, BPAA Alberta Publishing Award for Book Design

Editorial Reviews

The Frontier of Patriotism is a terrific addition to scholarship of the Great War, and a welcome companion to the many broader histories that have previously been written.

- Mark Collin, Canada’s History Magazine

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