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Books for Everybody Fall 2016 - BC Edition

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Studies in Canadian Military History
The Weight of Command
Voices of Canada’s Second World War Generals and Those Who Knew Them
By (author): J.L. Granatstein
9780774832991 Hardcover, Dust jacket English General Trade HISTORY / Military / World War II Canada Aug 01, 2016
$34.95 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 0.98 in 312 pages 16 b&w photos UBC Press
Edited and introduced by one of the foremost military historians of our time, the carefully curated interviews in this book bring Canada’s Second World War generals to life, revealing that, for all of them, the weight of command was a burden to be borne.

Three-quarters of a century after the Second World War, almost all the participants are gone. This book contains interviews with and about the Canadian generals who led the troops during that war. Edited and introduced by one of the foremost military historians of our time, this carefully curated collection brings to life the generals and their wartime experiences. The content is revealing and conversations frank. Peers and subordinates alike scrutinize key commanders of the war, sometimes offering praise but often passing harsh judgment. We learn of their failings and successes – and of the heavy weight of command borne by all.

J.L. Granatstein, OC, FRSC, is a Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus at York University. For fifty years he has published extensively in Canadian military, political, and foreign policy history; his most recent book is The Best Little Army in the World: The Canadians in Northwest Europe, 1944-1945. He taught at York University for thirty years, was Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum, and has served on government commissions.

These interviews with senior Canadian military personnel from the Second World War are complemented by interviews with the men who served under them and with their families, each revealing aspects of the other (sometimes with refreshing bluntness, always with bracing honesty). They present readers with a rich, multi-angled portrait of military command.

Jack Granatstein is a eminent military historian and is very well known. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada,  won the National History Society’s Pierre Berton Prize in 2004, and the Organization for the History of Canada’s National History Award in 2006. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Western Ontario, the University of Calgary, Memorial University of Newfoundland, McMaster University, Niagara University, and Ryerson University.

The attitudes and experiences of the Canadian senior officer cohort were strikingly similar to other Dominion armies during the war: the feuds, jealousies, and occasional hatreds; insufficient capacity to wage war during the early years; and ambivalent relations with the British. J.L. Granatstein’s “360-degree appraisal” – gained from conversations with commanders, subordinates, and staff – creates a riveting portrait. - Jeffrey Grey, author of The War with the Ottoman Empire

Histories of the Second World War Canadian Army have largely been based on personality-driven evaluations, usually by British officers. The Weight of Command will exhilarate readers with the discovery of something new. J.L. Granatstein weaves together interviews with commanders and fighters, as well as behind-the-scenes staff, providing an unparalleled record of the personal memories of those closest to the war. - Stephen Harris, co-editor of Warrior Chiefs: Perspectives on Senior Canadian Military Leaders

The ultimate compliment is to tell someone, “As usual you have nailed it!” That’s what J.L. Granatstein has done in his presentation and analysis of the intimate, often colourful, interviews he conducted with generals and their staff – both the good and not so good – who led Canada’s efforts during the Second World War. - Lewis Mackenzie, Major General (ret’d), Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and author of the bestseller, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo

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