With the 100th anniversary of the First World War upon us, I’ve had the privilege to research and think about this conflict in more depth than I have since I wandered around Montreal and Ottawa in undergrad snapping photos of war memorials. I was following in the footsteps of historian Jonathan Vance, whose wonderful book, Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War, helped put me on the path to a career in history. Here are a few resources I recently turned to, to understand the “Great War” (and how we remember it) in all its complexity:
- Margaret MacMillan, The War that Ended Peace
- David J. Bercuson, The Patricias: A Century of Service
- Norman Leach, Passchendaele: Canada’s Triumph and Tragedy on the Fields of Flanders
- and Edmonton’s own Marion Brooker, who wrote Hold the Oxo! based on the letters of 18-year-old Jim, who died at the Somme
I also found the CBC’s Michael Enright’s collected conversations on the topic incredibly interesting when I heard it on a recent edition of Ideas. What’s your favourite WWI book, film, radio documentary, or other resource?