Blood And Daring: How Canada Fought The American Civil War And Forged A Nation by John BoykoBlood And Daring: How Canada Fought The American Civil War And Forged A Nation by John Boyko

Blood And Daring: How Canada Fought The American Civil War And Forged A Nation

byJohn Boyko

Hardcover | May 28, 2013

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Blood and Daring will change our views not just of Canada's relationship with the United States, but of the Civil War, Confederation and Canada itself.
In Blood and Daring, lauded historian John Boyko makes a compelling argument that Confederation occurred when and as it did largely because of the pressures of the Civil War. Many readers will be shocked by Canada's deep connection to the war--Canadians fought in every major battle, supplied arms to the South, and many key Confederate meetings took place on Canadian soil. Boyko gives Americans a new understanding of the North American context of the war, and also shows how the political climate of the time created a more unified Canada, one that was able to successfully oppose American expansion.
Filled with engaging stories and astonishing facts from previously unaccessed primary sources, Boyko's fascinating new interpretation of the war will appeal to all readers of history. Blood and Daring will change our views not just of Canada's relationship with the United States, but of Confederation itself.

John Boyko is the author of 4 previous books, including the critically acclaimed Bennett: The Rebel Who Challenged and Changed a Nation and Last Steps to Freedom: The Evolution of Canadian Racism. He is a teacher and administrator at Lakefield College School, and an op-ed contributor to newspapers across Canada.
Title:Blood And Daring: How Canada Fought The American Civil War And Forged A NationFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.27 × 6.29 × 1.14 inPublished:May 28, 2013Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307361446

ISBN - 13:9780307361448

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Every proud Canadian should read this! What a totally sensational book! I am amazed at how much I didn't know about Canada's level of involvement in the U.S.'s Civil War, and how close we came to being part of the United States rather than our own sovereign nation as a result. Absolutely fascinating and engrossing start to finish!! I am a little embarrassed at how much of the history detailed in this book I have absolutely no knowledge about. In my own defense, none of this was taught in the history classes at any of my schools. I am thrilled to have learned it now, as it makes me even prouder to be Canadian, for the way dear old John A. demonstrated one of the early examples of what would become Canada's signature behaviour in contentious situations - stand your ground and protect what's yours, but do it politely and without bloodshed as much as possible. Macdonald literally saved Canada from a deeply acquisitive USA using that approach. This book is completely engaging, and is so interesting I had a hard time putting it down. I learned a ton about the Civil War, which is a particular interest, but also about how interconnected Canada and the U.S. were at the time, which led to a myriad of issues that threatened to lead to war and invasion by the Americans on more than one occasion. Having read this book, I am frankly astonished that Canada is today its own country, because we came REALLY close to be "annexed" by the U.S. during the aftermath of the Civil War. Who knew??! The author is a marvellous writer, with an engaging and story-focused style that makes this book read like fiction even though it is well-researched history. The method of using an individual person to anchor each chapter and tell the stories of the U.S. and Canada during and after the Civil War makes the history that much easier for the reader to connect to. It also makes for a cracking good read! If you are Canadian and proud of our country, you should read this book. If you are interested in the Civil War there's plenty here for you as well, whether your interest is American or Canadian. Unless you are a heavy history reader, I doubt you will be familiar with much of what went on in relation to Canada, and it's a heck of an entertaining education. Highly, highly recommended!
Date published: 2015-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very readable and informative Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Learned much about the influence of the American civil war on the lead up to Confederation. Fascinating read that has led me to seek out other books on nation-building events in Cdn history.
Date published: 2013-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Forging Of Two Nations The Civil War tore apart a country. Secession sought to create a new nation where life could be lived in the way people were used to- with slavery underpinning everything. Northerners refused to allow the country to fall apart, and for more than four years, Americans went to war against each other, killing each other in large numbers over race, freedom, the nation, and what kind of future they would have. By war’s end, the country was reunited, slavery was abolished, and state’s rights gave way to a more unified sense of Americans about themselves. Yet two countries did rise out of the aftermath of that war. Blood And Daring is a new book by historian John Boyko, weaving the tale of the War and that of the birth of Canada. The war influenced Canada- and Canada influenced the war- in ways that most people overlook, and this book sheds light on a side of the war that needs to be told. The author tells the story of the war and was going on across the border before, during, and after those years. British North American colonies had been given chances to form a more cohesive union before the war; officials in Britain wondered if it was worthwhile to hold onto their Canadian possessions. American leaders looked north as well as west, believing in the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, that all of North America should be theirs. Abolitionists brought slaves north into Canada, to safety and freedom, away from the slave hunters. And colonial leaders were divided. Boyko uses six people from the era to tell his story. John Anderson, a fugitive slave who settled in Canada after his flight to freedom found himself at the core of a court case, pursued by American officials for killing a white man during his escape. The case made headlines around the world; had Canadian courts ruled for deportation, it would bring an end to the safety of the Underground Railroad. Through Anderson and people like him, who saw Canada as a place free of bounty hunters, this integral part of the story is told. William Seward, the fiery Secretary of State under Lincoln, is a presence through the book. His intention early on to try to provoke a war with Britain, in the expectation that the South would rally around the flag, is explored. Like other politicians in the North, Seward was a believer in Manifest Destiny, seeking ways either through bluffing, intimidation, or negotiation, to take Canada and make it American. Sarah Emma Edmonds is a lesser known figure, and yet it makes her all the more compelling. Here we have a young Canadian woman who, through circumstances, began to pass herself off as a man, making a living on both sides of the border. When the War began, she joined the Union Army, serving variously as a nurse, soldier, and spy, seeing action while passing herself off as male. She survived the war, serving both as her male alter ego and as herself , one of a number of women doing the same who saw frontline combat. Her story is woven in with that of other soldiers. It’s estimated that anywhere from twenty to fifty thousand Canadians served in the War, the vast majority in the Union Army; Boyko settles on a total of forty thousand. Some served out of principle, while others were co-opted in by unscrupulous recruiting brokers who got them drunk and ended up putting them in a uniform. Boyko vividly brings the story of the soldier to life in his narrative, exploring how young Canadian men violated neutrality and served through the Civil War. During the war, Canada served as a breeding ground of Confederate plots, and so we meet Jacob Thompson. Once a Secretary of the Interior for the US government, he became Jefferson Davis’ point man in establishing a second front, operating from Toronto and Montreal, dispatching spies and irregular operations across the border. George Brown looms large in Canadian history. A politician and reporter, Brown had already served in a number of capacities in the colonial administration before the War. He argued the case that to prevent themselves from being swallowed up by America, Canadians would have to forge an identity, a country, for themselves. John A. Macdonald looms over the entire book. From the 1850s on, Macdonald was the strongest voice in colonial politics. He was something of a rascal (and a drunkard), but also a fiercely principled man and a masterful politician.Througout, we see MacDonald as the man who holds the country together in crisis, forging a nation. Boyko gives us a book that explores the complex story of the Civil War on both sides of the border. Canada rose up from that conflict. The Civil War made Confederation a necessity, driving colonial leaders with vastly different concerns to accept that survival meant joining together. Blood and Daring is a well written book that offers a fresh look at both countries, and a worthy addition to the story of the Civil War. Readers from both sides of the border will come away enlightened.
Date published: 2013-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Blood and Daring I went to school believing that Canadian History was just a boring necessity to graduate. Our education system has NO idea how fascinating our history can be or how it should be taught! Blood and Daring is an enthralling read! Expertly researched and written in a style that hooks the reader in from the Introduction and holds you until the final chapter! A definite must read for History buffs!
Date published: 2013-07-30

Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLER  “A wonderful and seamless popular history full of colourful characters, intrigue and political backstabbing of the first order. Though there is no secret as to how the book ends...he deftly adds enough suspense to keep readers turning the pages.... Boyko’s accomplished narrative is precisely the kind of popular history that deserves a wide audience.” —National Post  “A thrilling, near-theatrical look at the years leading up to Confederation.... The authoritative narration is clear, precise, and entirely enjoyable for non-scholars. The book presents a startlingly unfamiliar and ominously dangerous period in Canadian-American relations.... It’s the birth of Canada in all its glory and muck.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)  “Boyko has spun a compelling narrative. Better still, it’s supported by just the right measure of academic rigour.” —Winnipeg Free Press “In the middle of the nineteenth century, Canada was at a risk never matched before or since. After threatening invasion during the Civil War, the United States looked northwards after it was won to fulfill its Manifest Destiny. Historian John Boyko tells this story in Blood and Daring. He does so by recounting the stories of six ‘guides.’ Some are famous like Sir John A. Macdonald, and his principal opponent William Seward, Secretary of State and an ardent annexationist. Others are little known, such as escaped slave John Anderson who used Canadian law to avoid expatriation, and Sarah Edmonds, one of forty thousand Canadians to join the fight with the North or South. With verve and passion and impeccable research, Boyko makes this vital story come alive.” —Richard Gwyn, award-winning author of John A. and Nation Maker “The American Civil War involved more of the North American continent than the Union and the Confederacy. Forty thousand Canadians fought in Union armies, Confederate agents operated in Canadian provinces, and the Canadian-American border was the scene of skirmishes that threatened to escalate into a larger conflict. In this lively and eye-opening book, John Boyko shows how the war and its aftermath not only gave the United States a new birth of freedom; it also gave birth to the new nation of Canada.” —James M. McPherson, Princeton University’s Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom