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Norm Christie Norm's picks

Mood and Atmosphere of the War
How the Troops Lived
Memoirs, Letters and Diaries (From a Canadian Perspective)
General and Regimental Histories
Battlefield Tours
Postwar Analysis
The following books are available at Chapters.Indigo.ca

  Mood and Atmosphere of the War  
Testament of Youth.
Vera Brittain. Testament of Youth.

Originally published in 1933, it has since been reprinted many times and in many forms.It was also made into a Masterpiece Theatre production.

Simply the best First World War book, Testament of Youth captures the time and its appalling sacrifices perfectly and offers the most eloquent explanation of the the betrayal of a generation.
Tapestry of War
Sandra Gwyn. Tapestry of War.

Published in 1992, Tapestry of War similarly captures the atmosphere of the war in Canada, particularly 1914-15. Gwyn used the memoirs of Ethel Chadwick, Talbot Papineau and Agar Adamson - the social descriptions of prewar Canada really take you there. It is unfortunate that such a great recorder of Canadian history has since died.
How the Troops Lived
Death's Men
Denis Winter. Death's Men: Soldiers of the Great War

Published in 1991. General to the war, but covers all aspects of war life in a fluid and fascinating manner.
Face of Battle.
John Keegan. The Face of Battle

On war in general, but the parts on the Somme are greatly detailed and informative.
When Your Number's Up; The Canadian Soldier in the First World War
Desmond Morton. When Your Number's Up: The Canadian Soldier in the First World War

Published in 1993, this book covers the soldier's life from all aspects, particularly from a Canadian perspective.
Memoirs, Letters and Diaries
(From a Canadian Perspective)
Ghosts Have Warm Hands.
Will R. Bird. Ghosts Have Warm Hands.

Published in 1968, 1997. (Also its 1930 version And We Go On).
Letters of Agar Adamson
Letters of Agar Adamson. edited by N.M. Christie.

Published in 1997.
   The Journal of Private Fraser.  edited by Dr. R.H. Roy.
Published in 1985 and 1998.

   Canon F.G. Scott. The Great War As I Saw It.
Published in 1922, 2000.

   J.H. Pedley. Only This: A War Retrospective.
Published in 1932, 1999.

   Victor Wheeler. The 50th Battalion In No Man's Land.
Published in 1980, 2000.

General and Regimental Histories
Marching to Armegeddon
Desmond Morton and J.L. Granatstein. Marching to Armageddon.

Published in 1989, this book provides a colourful summary of the Canadians in the First World War.
   Harwood Steele (son of Sir Sam Steele). The Canadians in France, 1915-1918.
Published in 1919 this is a contemporary history of the Canadians in the Great War.

   G.W.L. Nicholson. The Official History of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919.
Published in 1962. This is a good book, with great maps. It is also scarcer than hen's teeth.

   H.M. Urquhart. The History of the 16th Battalion (The Canadian Scottish), C.E.F. in the Great War 1914-1919.
Published in 1932. A number of good Canadian Regimental histories from the war exist, but this is the best by far.

Welcome to Flanders Fields
Daniel Dancocks. Welcome to Flanders Fields.

Published in 1988, this great book focuses on the Canadians in the Second Battle of Ypres, and is the best of the late Daniel Dancocks' books on the Canadians in the Great War.
   George. Cassar. Beyond Courage.
Published in 1985. This is an excellent account of the Second Battle of Ypres.

   J.F.B. Livesay. Canada's Hundred Days.
Published in 1919. The best book on Canada's greatest victories in the war, with many individual stories of courage.

Battlefield Tours
   Rose Coombs. Before Endeavours Fade.
Published in 1976 and many times since. The very best guide to the Western Front.

Postwar Analysis  
Haig's Command.
Denis Winter. Haig's Command: A Reassessment

Published in 1991. Winter discusses the Generals, the failures in command and the personalities. This is the only book that gives the Canadians and Sir Arthur Currie their due.
   Desmond Morton. A Peculiar Kind of Politics.
Published in 1982, it outlines the story of the politics, and the general mess of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada in the U.K. during the war. Not for the novice, this book requires the reader to have a solid background to understand who is who.

  R. J. Sharpe. The Last Day, The Last Hour; The Currie Libel Trial.
Published in 1988

   Will R. Bird. The Communication Trench; Anecdotes & Statistics from the Great War.
Published in 1933, republished in 2000. This collection of articles by Will Bird contains fascinating material.

   Guy Chapman. Vain Glory.
Published in 1937. Reprinted in 1968. This book is a collection of hundreds of stories and articles by many authors, arranged in chronological order, to explain the happenings of the war. It doesn't contain much Canadian information, but is great background material.

   A. Godefroy. For Freedom and Honour?
Published in 1998, For Freedom and Honour? tells the stories of the 25 Canadians executed in the Great War.

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