J.L. Granatstein, the director of the Canadian War Museum from 1998 to 2000, is a Toronto historian and the author of Who Killed the Canadian Military?.
From two of Canadaâ€™s foremost historians comes a highly original compilation of eyewitness accounts from our nationâ€™s history. Chosen for their immediacy and engaging qualities, these first-hand accounts are broad in scope, including General James Wolfeâ€™s victory at Quebec in 1759; the escape of a fugitive slave; the hanging of Metis leader Louis Riel; suffragette Nellie McClungâ€™s crusade for women in 1914; the daring World War I exploits of ace pilot Billy Bishop; the Canadian surrender to the Japanese in Hong Kong in 1941; the modern phenomenon of Wayne Gretzky; and Canadaâ€™s great success at the 2002 Olympic Games.
Drawn from letters, newspapers, reportage, and diaries, these vivid accounts of history in the making cover the range of time from first contact to the present day, providing an exciting and immediate window into Canadaâ€™s diverse history.
Anyone with any feeling for Canada will shout 'Hallelujah!' in gratitude for First Drafts, a wonderful potpourri of a book about Canada's history.
Certainly among the best of anthologies, First Drafts is a pleasure, a store of literary treasures and a solid short course in Canadian history.
...a book at once refreshing and compelling...[t]his volume really does belong on every Canadian bookshelf.
...this is a highly original and compelling compilation of eyewitness accounts of our country's diverse history ... an informative and exciting read for every Canadian, not just for history buffs. Each story is unique and varied like the land and people it describes.
With vivd descriptions of the 1914-1918 conflict and the changes of the ensuing years, the development of Canada is brought alive in journals, letters and articles in this collection. An engrossing book, not only for the events, but also for the intimate, lively and telling eye-witness stories.
Norman Hillmer is a professor of history and international affairs at Carleton University and was formerly senior historian at the Department of National Defence. Granatstein and Hillmer have collaborated on five books, including the national bestseller Prime Ministers: Ranking Canadian Leaders.