The Friday Roundup is a weekly feature that offers a look at news, archive, and worthwhile links around the web on the study of War and Society. This week will see a new feature added to the Round Up; Canadian Bio. This feature will focus on a biography of a Canadian who was involved in one of the topics being discussed on a given week.
There have been a lot of articles and features focused on the War of 1812 but most have been from the Canadian/British perspective of the war. Benson Lossing is an American and composed his Pictorial Field-Book in 1868. The detail of the accounts is as good as most works being produced today and Lossing also provides beautiful illustrations that compliment his writing. Lossing’s perspective of the war, what he calls the Last War for American Independence, provides an old but fresh perspective that is far removed from the politics of today. Definitely worth taking some time to read.
The battle against Quebec separatism has been raging for decades but the most recent rendition of the sovereignty debate has included the use of military history as a proposed rallying point for national unity. The Harper Conservatives recently visited Quebec, a week after the Parti Quebecois won a minority government in the provincial elections, to recognize Canadian units that fought against the invading Americans. The move makes sense for the Harper government which has worked over the years to bring about a more pro-military tone in Canada. The use of military history as a political rallying tool is not a new method and has been successfully utilized throughout history. This is, however, one of the few times in Canada that this message has been used against the separatist movement. It makes one wonder if the Conservatives will use the same tactics during the centennial celebrations of the Great War and if so, how will they deal with divisive issues such as the Conscription Crisis?
Looking for some fall reading? The Michigan War Studies Review has one of the most extensive up-to-date list of book reviews on the web. On top of the great selection the reviews are written very well. The focus is predominantly military, but beyond this basic category the range of topics is tremendous. So if you are looking for a good read this fall, check out the Michigan War Studies Review.
There has been a lot of talk about the Avro Arrow this week and the proposed notion that the project be resurrected and modernized. One of the most infamous figures from the Arrow saga was Canada’s serving Prime Minister, John G. Diefenbaker. For Canadian nationalists Diefenbaker was the man who destroyed a national treasure and gave into pressures from our American neighbours. For others he was a decent Prime Minister who led Canada through some of the most tense moments of the Cold War. What ever your opinion may be, Diefenbaker played a significant role in shaping Cold War Canada and determining the fate of the Avro Arrow program.