UBC Press Picks: Books on Volunteering

Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Titles selected by Megan Malashewsky and Valerie Nair.

In honour of International Volunteer Day, we've selected UBC Press books that capture the importance and spirit of volunteering.

Update: Now includes six books!


Engagement Organizing
The Old Art and New Science of Winning Campaigns

Matt Price

At a time of heightened concern about what our future holds and how we can shape it, this book is an indispensable tool for campaigners of all kids. It's also an important resource for those just getting started, who want to apply the principles and practices of engagement organizing to their own campaigns for change.


A Sisterhood of Suffering and Service

Edited by Sarah Glassford and Amy Shaw

The First World War demanded sacrifice from all levels of society, and the degree to which citizens at home were expected to “do their bit” was made explicit in national propaganda. Women and girls in Canada and Newfoundland were indelibly affected by, and were integral parts of, their countries’ war efforts, volunteering both at home and abroad.


Guiding Modern Girls
Girlhood, Empire, and Internationalism in the 1920s and 1930s

Kristine Alexander

Guiding Modern Girls adds new depth to what are largely separate understandings of interwar girlhood, British imperialism, and internationalism. By analyzing the Guides as a worldwide organization whose early twentieth-century leaders sought to create a conservatively modern ideal of gender, class, age, and race relations, this book also reveals how girls and young women understood, reworked, and sometimes challenged the expectations placed on them by the world’s largest voluntary organization for girls.


African Canadians in Union Blue
Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil War

Richard M. Reid

Before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, he made a last-minute change – a paragraph authorizing the army to recruit black soldiers. Over the next two years, approximately 180,000 soldiers and 18,000 sailors joined the cause. Several thousand came from Canada.


This Small Army of Women
Canadian Volunteer Nurses and the First World War

Linda J. Quiney

With her soft linen head scarf and white apron emblazoned with a red cross, the Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse, or VAD, has become a romantic emblem of the First World War. This Small Army of Women draws on letters, diaries, and interviews to tell the forgotten story of the nearly two thousand women from Canada and Newfoundland who volunteered to “do their bit” at home and overseas.


Unwanted Warriors
Rejected Volunteers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force

Nic Clarke

Far from the bloody mire of Europe’s battlefields, the Great War extracted another price – the dignity of Canada’s rejected volunteers. Unwanted Warriors tells the history of these first casualties of war: the tens of thousands (perhaps even hundreds of thousands) of men who tried to enlist but were deemed “unfit for service” by medical examiners.

Posted in UBC Press Picks
Posted by Megan M.
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