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

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UBC Press, Nov 1, 2011 - History - 336 pages

This book examines Canada's collective memory of the First World War through the 1920s and 1930s beginning with the Armistice in 1918. This book deals with cultural history more than military history and looks at art, music and literature during World War I.

Comparable to Modris Eskteins' Rites of Spring and Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory, the author draws on a broad range of sources, published and unpublished, making this book an original contribution to the growing literature dealing with World War I.

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 military records, memoirs, war memorials, newspaper reports, fiction, popular songs, and films. In each case Vance draws a distinction between the objective realities of the war and the way that contemporaries remember it.

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. It will be of interest to specialists in First World War history and literature as well as a general audience.

 

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 The Just War
12
2 Christ in Flanders
35
3 O Death Where Is Thy Sting?
73
4 Accursd They Were Not Here
111
5 The Soldier as Canada
136
6 Safeguarding the Past
163
7 If Ye Break Faith
198
8 To Found a Country
226
Conclusion
257
Notes
268
Bibliographical Essay
300
Index
308
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

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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