Saturday, April 13, 2013


Montreal Simon's post alerted me to the fact that 2014 is going to mark 100 years since the First World War. This is as good a time as any, then, for me to say that Tim Cook's book Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King and Canada's World Wars is a good book.

The part about Borden and the First World War does a great job of showing how that conflict really put Canada through the wringer. Not only did it pit English against French, but also rural against urban and workers against employers, like never before. Reading it, I felt like I was reading about recent Canadian politics while simultaneously reading about Canada's youth and the "great leap forward" into industrial maturity.

It's a good read. Check it out!


Fez Ortona said...

Borden's imposed guilt campaign against Canadian mothers to dutifully give up their sons for the war effort was nothing short of maniacal.

thwap said...


The whole thing was insane in the end. Borden wasn't particularly any crazier than any of the other elites at the time.

I still like this post of mine:

Fez Ortona said...

It's been well over a decade since I stopped wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day. Celebrating and thus glorifying the senseless conflict that was WWI is anathema to me. I also despise the entire patriotic industry built up around the Battle of Vimy Ridge and what it supposedly represents to this country. The Battle of Vimy Ridge bound us together as a nation? Fuck that. How that war divided this country far and away trumps whatever nation building it accomplished imho. VR was about a group of boys, murderously taking a hill from another group of boys. A hill. A far away fucking hill. I call bullshit.

thwap said...

Years ago, a guy wrote a letter to the Hamilton Spectator. Said his dad was a wealthy, imperialist Anglo. He and his buddies who had been officers in WWI used to get together on Remembrance Day.

He remembers one of his dad's friends saying of the war dead: "They didn't give their lives; We had to drag them out of them."