Enmeshed in a broader global struggle between England and France and the target of fierce American jingoism, the young provinces of Upper Canada, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had scarcely established themselves before they were plunged into a war that defined what Canada was and would become. By the time the war was over, York?s parliament buildings had been set on fire, Niagara-on-the-Lake burned to the ground, Buffalo lay in ashes, and the American capital of Washington, far to the south, had been put to the torch.
Pierre Berton's War of 1812 by Pierre Berton combines the author's two books on the subject, The Invasion of Canada (which deals with the war's first year and the events that led up to it) and Flames Across the Border (which follows the continuing course of the war), in a single commemorative volume. A passionate voice for Canada and our history, Berton offers an engrossing narrative that reads like a fast-paced novel. Drawing on personal memoirs and diaries as well as official dispatches, he captures the courage, determination and terror of the universal soldier, giving new dimension and fresh perspective to this early conflict between the two emerging nations of North America.Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Book Lists, History
The title of today's book of the day might lead you to think that we're featuring a dual biography. But Tecumseh & Brock in fact offers a compelling view of the War of 1812 -- which historians have long treated as a second American revolution -- by bringing to life the Native struggle for nationhood and sovereignty; the battle between the British Empire and the United States over Upper and Lower Canada; and finally, at the heart of it, the unlikely friendship and political alliance between Tecumseh, the Shawnee chieftain and charismatic leader of the Native confederacy, and Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, protector and defender of the British Empire. Highly engaging and impeccably researched, Tecumseh & Brock is a powerful work of history, an epic story of empires and emerging nations, of politics and power, and of two leaders whose legacy still lives on today.
For more books on the War of 1812, check out our featured category.Categories: New Releases, Book of the Day, History
2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the only armed conflict in history between Canada and the United States. Regularly overshadowed by the larger conflicts of the 19th and 20th centuries, the war was nonetheless a pivotal moment for both nations
For the Americans, the war saw the beginning of a proud naval tradition, and the United States' first steps onto the world stage as a military power. For Canadians, it was the first spark of our national identity, which grew into a flame in World War 1.
The War of 1812 was a moment of truth for the young nations of North America. Two hundred years later, it's worth remembering as a vital part of our history.Categories: Book Lists, History
Congratulations to Mary Anne Appleby and Phil R Hayes, who have been awarded the Gold medal in the Canada West Non-Fiction category of the Independent Publishers' Book Awards, for their delightful picture book Winnie the Bear.
From the awards' webpage: The Independent Publisher Book Awards are are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year. The awards are open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market.
Winnie the Bear is the biography of a Canadian black bear adopted by Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, a kind veterinarian, who was en route overseas at the beginning of World War One. Named after the city of Winnipeg, Winnie the Bear went on to inspire A.A. Milne to create the beloved children's character Winnie the Pooh.
Appleby's expert retelling of a too-often-forgotten story, accompanied by Hayes' incredible illustrations, bring history to life, sharing Winnie's remarkable story with a new generation.Categories: Awards, Publishing News, History
Sensing a gap in my knowledge of our own history and hankering to know more, I picked up The Last Act. It tells the story of the controversial repatriation of the Canadian Constitution in 1981. Why did I pick this book? For one reason, I can remember listening to the repatriation ceremony on the radio. I was driving a delivery truck at the time and had CBC radio on all day. As I listened to the live broadcast, I experienced a sense of elation that I was bearing witness to an historic national event. When I spotted Ron Graham's book, I was intrigued to find out what really happened behind the scenes. René Lévesque's refusal to sign the Repatriation Act on behalf of Quebec suggested a troubled process that undercut the show of apparent unity presented by "the Gang of Eight."
And troubled it was. In fact, the likelihood that the premiers and Pierre Trudeau would ever reach a deal seemed an impossibility only hours before they came together to sign the document. In fact, it took an all-night session of political wrangling before Canadians awoke on the morning of November 4, 1981 to discover that the repatriation of the Constitution and the Charter of Rights was a fait accompli.
Graham does an excellent job of explaining the historical context and the divergent views of all the participants, from the premiers jealously guarding their provincial powers in the face of Trudeau's attempts to implement a more centralist vision of Canada to the impossible position that Lévesque found himself in as leader of a party dedicated to take his province out of Confederation.
This is a story about raw politics and honestly held but competing visions of what Canada should be. In telling this story, Graham reveals much about what Canada is and how it functions, its strengths and its weaknesses.
The Last Act is a part of The History of Canada series from Penguin books. The series deals with crucial and sometimes under-reported historical moments that have shaped Canada. I'm currently reading another book in the series, The Destiny of Canada by . It explores the issues that saw Laurier's Liberals defeat Macdonald's Conservatives in the election of 1891, an election fought most contentiously, if not exclusively, on the issue of "free trade." Sound familiar?Categories: Book of the Day, History
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