Clio's Warriors examines how the Canadian world war experience has been constructed and reconstructed over time. Tim Cook elucidates the role of historians in codifying the sacrifice and struggle of a generation as he discusses historical memory and writing, the creation of archives, and the war of reputations that followed each of the world wars on the battlefield.
Only recently have academic military historians pushed the discipline to explore the impact of war on society. Even so, the publications of official historians remain the central narrative of the national experience. In analyzing where the profession has come from and where it needs to go, Clio’s Warriors plays a vital role in the ongoing challenge of writing critical history. It will be an essential addition to the library of all Canadian military historians and students of military history and historiography.
One of the greatest elements for capturing the public’s attention about any given war is the historians themselves who write it… [Tim Cook] takes a unique look at this issue, which makes for a fascinating read for those looking to know the motivations behind Canada’s historians.
One particular slice of Canadian historiography, however, has never adequately been examined: our official military historians…This is a strange oversight…Cook’s Clio’s Warriors: Canadian Historians and the Writing of the World Wars attempts to fill that gap and does so admirably – in fact, does so much more than admirably. Even if we accept that no history can be definitive, a meritorious few are destined for long and productive lives and Clio’s Warriors stands high amongst that rank.
Clio’s Warriors is a lively and impeccably researched study that confirms how important it is to understand, not just how history is made, but how it is recorded. In writing so persuasively about Canada’s foremost military historians of the twentieth century, Tim Cook shows why he is such a worthy successor to their tradition.
Introduction: Writing the World Wars
1 Documenting War and Forging Reputations, 1914-18
2 The War of Reputations, 1918-39
3 Clio in the Service of Mars, 1939-45
4 History Wars and War History, 1945-48
5 Official History, Contested Memory, 1948-60
6 Forging the Canon of Canadian World War History, 1960-2000
Conclusion: An Ongoing Dialogue
Select Bibliography of Official and Semi-official Canadian Histories
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