Women’s war contributions
In the December-January issue of Canada’s History magazine, military historian Tim Cook reviews In the Company of Sisters: Canada’s Women in the War Zone, 1914–1919, by recently deceased author Dianne Graves. It’s a book that, Cook says, “lets the women’s voices guide the narrative.”
In the Company of Sisters tells about women journalists, peace activists, and even the thousands of wives who crossed the Atlantic to be close to their husbands during the First World War. But, as Cook notes, much of the book portrays the experiences of “the Canadian women who served as nursing sisters, offering insight into the terrible strain of treating and caring for wounded soldiers who arrived day and night at medical units.”
In the same issue, Canada’s History contributing editor Nancy Payne writes about Joe Sacco’s illustrated book Paying the Land, which she calls “a moving, complex history of Dene life in the Northwest Territories over the past half century.” While drawing primarily from interviews with a number of Dene people, Sacco “includes himself as a secondary character, mostly to highlight his ignorance, to fill in detail, or to move the story to a new time or location.”
Meanwhile, Dean Jobb tells about At the Ocean’s Edge: A History of Nova Scotia to Confederation, by Margaret Conrad. He says the book is an “ambitious effort to bring fresh eyes to the province’s story by incorporating the latest research and insights as well as marginalized voices and points of view” — and, he adds, “It’s a resounding success.”
Also in the December-January issue, scholar Carolyn D. Redl reviews Unsettling Spirit: A Journey into Decolonization, by Denise M. Nadeau. And our shorter More Books items include stories about asserting Canadian sovereignty in the North, Victoria’s red-light district, a riot at Kingston Penitentiary, a nineteenth-century abortion trial, memoirs from Canadians who served during the First World War, and women’s activism in Western Canada — plus more!
As always, our book reviews can be found both in Canada’s History magazine and on our CanadasHistory.ca website.