Militia Myths: Ideas of the Canadian Citizen Soldier, 1896-1921

Militia Myths: Ideas of the Canadian Citizen Soldier, 1896-1921

by James Wood
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The image of farmers and workers called to the colours endures in Canada’s social memory of the First World War. But is the ideal of being a citizen first and a soldier only by necessity as recent as our histories and memories suggest?

Militia Myths brings to light a military culture that consistently employed the citizen soldier as its foremost

Overview

The image of farmers and workers called to the colours endures in Canada’s social memory of the First World War. But is the ideal of being a citizen first and a soldier only by necessity as recent as our histories and memories suggest?

Militia Myths brings to light a military culture that consistently employed the citizen soldier as its foremost symbol, but was otherwise in a state of profound transition. At the time of Confederation, the defence of Canada itself represented the country’s only real obligation to the British Empire, but by the early twentieth century Canadians were already fighting an imperial war in South Africa. In 1914, they began raising an army to fight on the Western Front. By the end of the First World War, the ideological transition was complete: for better or for worse, the untrained civilian who had answered the call-to-arms in 1914 replaced the long-serving volunteer militiaman of the past as the archetypical Canadian citizen soldier.

Militia Myths traces the evolution of a uniquely Canadian amateur military tradition -- one that has had an enormous impact on the country’s experience of the First and Second World Wars.

Published in association with the Canadian War Museum.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This is a must-have book in Canadian military and social history, representing both fields at their very best. Wood sets the record straight on one of the most discussed but nonetheless little known concepts in our history: the militia myth. For the first time, we have a real and compelling understanding of what was once demonized in our history - the idea of being a citizen first and a soldier if necessary.
- Roch Legault, co-editor of Loyal Service: Perspectives on French-Canadian Military Leaders

Militia Myths is an engaging and important book. It revises our understanding of military professionalism in the early twentieth century. Wood shows the distinction between amateur and professional soldiers in modern warfare to be more complex than we have come to believe. His work is sure to stimulate further study of the pre-1914 period and the impact of the Great War on Canada's armed forces.
- Andrew Iarocci, author of Shoestring Soldiers: The 1st Canadian Division at War, 1914-15

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780774817660
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
12/01/2010
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Roch Legault

This is a must-have book in Canadian military and social history, representing both fields at their very best. Wood sets the record straight on one of the most discussed but nonetheless little known concepts in our history: the militia myth. For the first time, we have a real and compelling understanding of what was once demonized in our history - the idea of being a citizen first and a soldier if necessary.

Andrew Iarocci

Militia Myths is an engaging and important book. It revises our understanding of military professionalism in the early twentieth century. Wood shows the distinction between amateur and professional soldiers in modern warfare to be more complex than we have come to believe. His work is sure to stimulate further study of the pre-1914 period and the impact of the Great War on Canada's armed forces.

Meet the Author

James Wood teaches history at the University of Victoria and is the author of We Move Only Forward: Canada, the United States, and the First Special Service Force, 1942-44 and Army of the West: The Weekly Reports of German Army Group B from Normandy to the West Wall.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >