Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War

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UBC Press, 1997 - History - 319 pages
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Death So Noble takes an unorthodox look at the Canadian war experience. It views the Great War as a cultural and philosophical force rather than as a political and military event. Thematically organized into such subjects as the symbolism of the soldier, the implications of war memory for Canadian nationalism, and the idea of a just war, the book draws on memoirs, war memorials, newspaper reports, fiction, popular songs, film, plays, and many other sources. In each case Vance distinguishes between the objective realities of the war and the way that contemporaries remembered it. Jonathan Vance emphasizes the persistence of traditional Victorian values in Canada up to 1939 and the resistance of the old order to changes wrought by the First World War. In this way his conclusions differ from those of earlier writers such as Paul Fussell, Samuel Hynes, and Modris Eksteins, who stressed the forces of innovation unleashed by the war.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
The Just War i
12
Christ in Flanders
35
O Death Where Is Thy Sting?
73
Accursd They Were Not Here
111
The Soldier as Canada
136
Safeguarding the Past
163
If Ye Break Faith
198
To Found a Country
226
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Jonathan Vance teaches in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of Objects of Concern: Canadian Prisoners of War through the Twentieth Century (UBC Press, 1994).

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