Tomorrow, University of Toronto Press will join Canada in thanking all who have served our country. We feel that it is important learn about our history so that we can properly honour the sacrifices made for us and so we can learn from the past. To that end, we would like to invite you to take a look at the following books.
The First World Oil War
By Timothy C. Winegard
Oil is the source of wealth and economic opportunity. Oil is also the root source of global conflict, toxicity and economic disparity. When did oil become such a powerful commodity—during, and in the immediate aftermath of, the First World War.
In his groundbreaking book, The First World Oil War, Timothy C. Winegard argues that beginning with the First World War, oil became the preeminent commodity to safeguard national security and promote domestic prosperity. For the first time in history, territory was specifically conquered to possess oil fields and resources; vital cogs in the continuation of the industrialized warfare of the twentieth century.
This original and pioneering study analyzes the evolution of oil as a catalyst for both war and diplomacy, and connects the events of the First World War to contemporary petroleum geo-politics and international aggression.
Distance from the Belsen Heap: Allied Forces and the Liberation of a Nazi Concentration Camp
By Mark Celinscak
The Allied soldiers who liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in April 1945 were faced with scenes of horror and privation. With breathtaking thoroughness, Distance from the Belsen Heap documents what they saw and how they came to terms with those images over the course of the next seventy years. On the basis of research in more than seventy archives in four countries, Mark Celinscak analyses how these military personnel struggled with the intense experience of the camp; how they attempted to describe what they had seen, heard, and felt to those back home; and how their lives were transformed by that experience. He also brings to light the previously unacknowledged presence of hundreds of Canadians among the camp’s liberators, including noted painter Alex Colville.
Distance from the Belsen Heap examines the experiences of hundreds of British and Canadian eyewitnesses to atrocity, including war artists, photographers, medical personnel, and chaplains. A study of the complicated encounter between these Allied soldiers and the horrors of the Holocaust, Distance from the Belsen Heap is a testament to their experience.
Lessons of the Holocaust
By Michael R. Marrus
Although difficult to imagine, sixty years ago the Holocaust had practically no visibility in examinations of the Second World War. Yet today it is understood to be not only one of the defining moments of the twentieth century but also a touchstone in a quest for directions on how to avoid such catastrophes.
In Lessons of the Holocaust, the distinguished historian Michael R. Marrus challenges the notion that there are definitive lessons to be deduced from the destruction of European Jewry. Instead, drawing on decades of studying, writing about, and teaching the Holocaust, he shows how its “lessons” are constantly challenged, debated, altered, and reinterpreted.
A succinct, stimulating analysis by a world-renowned historian, Lessons of the Holocaust is the perfect guide for the general reader to the historical and moral controversies which infuse the interpretation of the Holocaust and its significance.
Living with War: Twentieth-Century Conflict in Canadian and American History and Memory
By Robert Teigrob
Canada and the United States: we think of one as a peaceable kingdom, the other as a warrior nation. But do our expectations about each country’s attitudes to war and peace match the realities?
In Living with War, Robert Teigrob examines how war is experienced and remembered on both sides of the 49th parallel. Surveying popular and scholarly histories, films and literature, public memorials, and museum exhibits in both countries, he comes to some startling conclusions. Americans may seem more patriotic, even jingoistic, but they are also more willing to debate the pros and cons of their military actions. Canadians, though more diffident in their public displays of patriotism, are more willing than their southern neighbors to accept the official narrative that depicts just wars fought in the service of a righteous cause.
A provocative book that complements critiques of contemporary Canadian militarism such as Warrior Nation, Living with War offers an intriguing look at the relationship with the military past on both sides of the border.
For those local to Toronto, please find information about the Remembrance Day Ceremony at Queen’s Park here.