Canada In The Great Power Game 1914-2014: Making Choices, Taking Sides by Gwynne DyerCanada In The Great Power Game 1914-2014: Making Choices, Taking Sides by Gwynne Dyer

Canada In The Great Power Game 1914-2014: Making Choices, Taking Sides

byGwynne Dyer

Hardcover | August 24, 2016

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Canada in the Great Power Game 1914-2014 is a serious contemplation of what it means to engage in major world conflicts, and the price we pay when we do.
The First World War was Canada's baptism of fire, or at least the only one that people now remember. (Montrealers in 1776 or Torontonians in 1814 would have taken a different view.) From 1914 to 1918, after a century of peace, Canadians were plunged back into the old world of great power rivalries and great wars. So was everybody else, but Canadians were volunteers. We didn't have to fight, but we chose to, out of loyalty to ideas and institutions that today many of us no longer believe in. And we have been doing the same thing ever since, although we haven't quite given up on the latest set of ideas and institutions yet.

In Canada in the Great Power Game, Gwynne Dyer moves back and forth between the seminal event, the First World War, and all the later conflicts that Canada chose to fight in. He draws parallels between these conflicts, with the same idealism among the young soldiers, and the same deeply conflicted emotions among the survivors, surfacing time and again in every war right down to Afghanistan. And in each case, the same arguments pro and con arise--mostly from people who are a long, safe way from the killing grounds--for every one of those "wars of choice."

Echoing throughout the book are the voices of the people who lived through the wars: the veterans, the politicians, the historians, the eyewitnesses. And Dyer takes a number of so-called excursions from his historical account, in which he revisits the events and puts them in context, pausing to ask such questions as "What if we hadn't fought Hitler?" and "Is war written in our genes?" This entertaining and provocative book casts an unsparing eye over what happens when Canada and the great powers get in the war business, illuminating much about how we see ourselves on the world stage.

GWYNNE DYER has served in the Canadian, British and American navies. He holds a Ph.D. in war studies from the University of London, has taught at Sandhurst and served on the Board of Governors of Canada's Royal Military College. Dyer writes a syndicated column that appears in more than 175 newspapers around the world. The author lives ...
Title:Canada In The Great Power Game 1914-2014: Making Choices, Taking SidesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.31 × 6.2 × 1.43 inPublished:August 24, 2016Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307361683

ISBN - 13:9780307361684

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good book, that stops short of being excellant This book has a lot of fascinating behind-the-rhetoric history that probably few people are aware of. Fascinating stuff for anyone interested in the why's and how's of the past century of Canadian history. With the 100-yr anniversary of the First World War upon us, plus a lot of commentary on subsequent wars, this book offers some interesting insights and a point of view that is worthwhile contrast to the many rah-rah puff pieces we've been seeing lately. I enjoyed reading it. But it suffers from a few flaws that keep it from being better than it could have been, and quite frankly, should have been. First of all is the lack of a bibliography. This is inexcusable for a book with so many quotes and what look like interview notes. Secondly, it feels incomplete and rushed in the latter chapters. Almost as if some of them were notes rather than actual finished works. Some reviewer (in other media) have complained about the lack of "passion" in the writing. I personally see it as an attempt to make a calm, reasoned argument and a studied review of Canadian military policies over the past century. Overall, a worthwhile book.
Date published: 2014-09-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating read Interesting overview of our role as pawn in the big chess game. Helped me shatter some preconceptions particularly about WWI and the Aro
Date published: 2014-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dyers 'Canada' good but flawed Thought provoking and written in the entertaining Dyer style but needs more substantiation to make the conclusions fully convincing.
Date published: 2014-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots to reconsider A most useful change of perspectives from which to reconsider many longstanding assumptions we make about our military and diplomatic past. Once again, things may not have been quite as they seemed at the time.
Date published: 2014-08-19

Editorial Reviews


"A timely review of Canada's role in the past century of war and peace since the outbreak of the First World War. It throws a disturbing light on what we did and why we did it.... Gwynne Dyer makes his case calmly, factually, and with his trademark dry humour." The Tyee

From the Trade Paperback edition.