The Vimy Trap Book Launch May 2017
Jamie Swift on "The Vimy Trap"
Thursday, May 11, 2017
SFU Vancouver: Room 7000 (Earl & Jennie Lohn Policy Room, 7th floor)
Come out to hear Jamie Swift speak about "The Vimy Trap: or, How We Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Great War." "The Vimy Trap" has been shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize.
The story of the bloody 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge is, according to many of today’s tellings, a heroic founding moment for Canada. This noble, birth-of-a-nation narrative is regularly applied to the Great War in general. Yet this mythical tale is rather new. “Vimyism”— today’s official story of glorious, martial patriotism—contrasts sharply with the complex ways in which veterans, artists, clerics, and even politicians who had supported the war interpreted its meaning over the decades.
Was the Great War a futile imperial debacle? A proud, nation-building milestone? Contending Great War memories have helped to shape how later wars were imagined. The Vimy Trap provides a powerful probe of commemoration cultures. This subtle, fast-paced work of public history—combining scholarly insight with sharp-eyed journalism, and based on primary sources and school textbooks, battlefield visits and war art—explains both how and why peace and war remain contested terrain in ever-changing landscapes of Canadian memory.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Department of History, Vancouer Island Peace and Disarmament Network, PeaceQuest, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, People’s Co-op Bookstore.