In his new book The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering and Remaking Canada’s Second World War, Tim Cook reminds us that “if we do not tell our own stories, no one else will.” But the ways in which Canadians have chosen to remember the Second World War has been far from consistent. Once viewed as the necessary war, the country quickly put the conflict behind itself. Cenotaphs built in the shadow of the Great War were simply given an addendum. There was no national Second World War memorial; no major monument to commemorate victories in Normandy or the Netherlands. For many years, when Canadians spoke of the war they spoke of tragedy, blunders and mistakes. But in the twenty-first century, Canadians and veterans have since reclaimed the legacy of the war. As veterans dwindle and historians open up new avenues for understanding this contentious past, Tim Cook joins us once again to make a plea to fellow Canadians to continue the fight for their history.
Tim Cook is a historian at the Canadian War Museum. He has published a dozen books on the history of the First and Second World Wars and is the recipient of many awards for his writing including the RBC Taylor Prize, the J.W. Dafoe Prize (twice) and the C.P. Stacey Prize (twice). He was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media. Tim is a Member of the Order of Canada.