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March's Author of the Month: TIM COOK

by Tyler Vitt - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 9:07pm

Tim Cook is a historian at the Canadian War Museum (CWM), an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University, and a former director for Canada’s History Society. He is the author of several authoritative yet accessible award-winning books on Canadian military history in which he illuminates the inner lives of military men and women on the front lines. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian history, and in 2013 he received the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Burton Award.

In his new book, Vimy, Cook returns to the First World War, the subject upon which he built his name, with books such as At the Sharp End and Shock Troops, winner of the RBC Taylor Prize. The Vimy battle that began April 9, 1917, was unlike any other battle in Canadian history. It was the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together. 10,600 men were killed or injured over four days. It has been described as the “birth of the nation.” But the meaning of that phrase has never been explored, nor has any writer — until now —explained why the battle continues to resonate with Canadians 150 years later. (Hardcover. $38.00. Allen Lane. March)

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

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Vimy

- Hardcover

by Tim Cook - $38.00 - Add to Cart

A bold new telling of the defining battle of the Great War, and how it came to signify and solidify Canada’s national identity. Why does Vimy matter? How did a four-day battle at the midpoint of the Great War, a clash that had little strategic impact on the larger Allied war effort, become elevated to a national symbol of Canadian identity? Tim Cook, Canada’s foremost military historian and a Charles Taylor Prize winner, examines the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the way the memory of it has evolved over 100 years. The operation that began April 9, 1917, was the first time the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together. More than 10,000 Canadian soldiers were killed or injured over four days—twice the casualty rate of the Dieppe Raid in August 1942. The Corps’ victory solidified its reputation among allies and opponents as an elite fighting force. In the wars’ aftermath, Vimy was chosen as the site for the country’s strikingly beautiful monument to mark Canadian sacrifice and service. Over time, the legend of Vimy took on new meaning, with some calling it the “birth of the nation.” The remarkable story of Vimy is a layered skein of facts, myths, wishful thinking, and conflicting narratives. Award-winning writer Tim Cook explores why the battle continues to resonate with Canadians a century later. He has uncovered fresh material and photographs from official archives and private collections across Canada and from around the world. On the 100th anniversary of the event, and as Canada celebrates 150 years as a country, Vimy is a fitting tribute to those who fought the country’s defining battle. It is also a stirring account of Canadian identity and memory, told by a masterful storyteller.

Shock Troops

- Trade paperback

by Tim Cook - $28.00 - Add to Cart

Shock Troops follows the Canadian fighting forces during the titanic battles of Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Passchendaele, and the Hundred Days campaign. Through the eyes of the soldiers who fought and died in the trenches on the Western Front, and based on newly uncovered Canadian, British, and German archival sources, Cook builds on Volume I of his national bestseller, At the Sharp End. The Canadian fighting forces never lost a battle during the final 2 years of the war, and although they paid a terrible price in the killing fields of the Great War, they were indeed, as British Prime Minister David Lloyd George exclaimed, the shock troops of the Empire.

The Necessary War, Volume 1

- Trade paperback

by Tim Cook - $30.00 - Add to Cart

Co-winner of the 2014-2015 Charles P. Stacey AwardThe definitive account of Canadians fighting in the Second World War written by Canada's premier military historian     Tim Cook, Canada's leading war historian, ventures deep into the Second World War in this epic two-volume story of heroism and horror, loss and longing, and sacrifice and endurance.     Written in Cook's compelling narrative style, this book shows in impressive detail how soldiers, airmen, and sailors fought--the evolving tactics, weapons of war, logistics, and technology. He also examines the war as an engine of transformation for Canada. With a population of fewer than twelve million, Canada embraced its role as an arsenal of democracy, exporting war supplies, feeding its allies, and raising a million-strong armed forces that served and fought in nearly every theatre of war. The six-year-long exertion caused disruption, provoked nationwide industrialization, ushered in changes to gender roles, exacerbated the tension between English and French, and forged a new sense of Canadian identity. It showed that Canadians were willing to bear almost any burden and to pay the ultimate price in the pursuit of victory.

The Madman and the Butcher

- Trade paperback

by Tim Cook - $28.00 - Add to Cart

Based on newly uncovered sources, The Madman and the Butcher is a powerful double biography of Sam Hughes and Arthur Currie and the story of one of the most shocking and highly publicized libel trials in Canadian history. Sir Arthur Currie achieved international fame as Canadian Corps commander during the Great War. He was recognized as a brilliant general, morally brave, and with a keen eye for solving the challenges of trench warfare. But wars were not won without lives lost. Who was to blame for Canada's 60,000 dead? Sir Sam Hughes, Canada's war minister during the first two and a half years of the conflict, was erratic, outspoken, and regarded by many as insane. Yet he was an expert on the war. He attacked Currie's reputation in the war's aftermath, accusing him of being a butcher, a callous murderer of his own men. Set against the backdrop of Canadians fighting in the Great War, this engaging narrative explores questions of Canada's role in the war, the need to place blame for the terrible blood loss, the nation's discomfort with heroes, and the very public war of reputations that raged on after the guns fell silent.

Fight to the Finish

- Trade paperback

by Tim Cook - $30.00 - Add to Cart

Winner of the 2016 Ottawa Book AwardAn unforgettable chronicle of Canadians fighting the Second World War.Historian Tim Cook displays his trademark storytelling ability in the second volume of his masterful account of Canadians in World War II. Cook combines an extraordinary grasp of military strategy with a deep empathy for the soldiers on the ground, at sea and in the air. Whether it's a minute-by-minute account of a gruelling artillery battle, vicious infighting among generals, the scene inside a medical unit, or the small details of a soldier's daily life, Cook creates an utterly compelling narrative. He recounts in mesmerizing detail how the Canadian forces figured in the Allied bombing of Germany, the D-Day landing at Juno beach, the taking of Caen, and the drive south.      Featuring dozens of black-and-white photographs and moving excerpts from letters and diaries of servicemen, Fight to the Finish, along with its companion volume, The Necessary War, broadens our understanding of the Second World War with a gripping account of Canadians who fought abroad, and the home front that was changed forever.

At the Sharp End Volume One

- Trade paperback

by Tim Cook - $30.00 - Add to Cart

The first comprehensive history of Canadians in WWI in forty years, and already hailed as the definitive work on Canadians in the Great War, At the Sharp End covers the harrowing early battles of 1914--16. Tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands, died before the generals and soldiers found a way to break the terrible stalemate of the front. Based on eyewitness accounts detailed in the letters of ordinary soldiers, Cook describes the horrible struggle, first to survive in battle, and then to drive the Germans back. At the Sharp End provides both an intimate look at the Canadian men in the trenches and an authoritative account of the slow evolution in tactics, weapons, and advancement. Featuring never-before-published photographs, letters, diaries, and maps, this recounting of the Great War through the soldiers' eyes is moving, engaging, and thoroughly engrossing.

Warlords

- Trade paperback

by Tim Cook - $24.00 - Add to Cart

Two portraits flank the doors leading into Canada's House of Commons: those of Sir Robert Borden and William Lyon Mackenzie King. But it is the plaques that are of particular interest. Borden's caption reads: "World War I War Leader, 1914-1918," and King's caption is similar: "World War II War Leader, 1939-1945." No other dates are given. Defining Borden by his wartime leadership makes sense, since he did little of note before the war, but it does not ring true for King, Canada's longest-serving prime minister. Yet for both, world wars shaped their careers and legacies. They ushered in massive government changes: income tax, health care, and conscription; changes to society through industrialization, enfranchisement, and patriotic unpaid labour; and they raised enormous armed forces from a civilian base. Warlords is a fast-paced narrative that humanizes the war effort through the eyes of these prime ministers. By creating this unique double portrait, the multiple-award-winning Tim Cook describes the challenges faced by two politicians in extreme circumstances and offers an invaluable perspective of war and war leaders.