Who Killed Canadian History?

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HarperCollins Publishers, 1998 - History - 156 pages
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Have we lost our past, and, in turn, ourselves?

Who is slamming shut our history books -- and why?

In an indictment that points damning fingers at our education system, the media and our government's preoccupation with multiculturalism to the exclusion of English Canadian culture, historian J.L. Granatstein offers astonishing evidence of our lack of historical knowledge. He shows not only how "dumbing down" in our education system is contributing to the death of Canadian history, but how a multi-disciplinary social studies approach puts more nails in the coffin. He explains how some teachers think studying the Second World War glorifies violence and may worsen French-English conflicts if conscription is mentioned, And he tells how the pride Canadians should feel over their past has been brushed aside by efforts to create a history that suits the misguided ideas of successive ministers of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism. Finally, he shows that there is hope, and there are steps we must take if we are to renew our past -- and ensure our future.

With his intelligent and outspoken "blow the dust off the history books" approach to his subject, J.L. Granatstein has produced a brilliantly argued book that addresses a subject too important to ignore. Published to coincide with the anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge (April 9, 1917), and appearing at a time when our education system is coming under ever sharper attack Who Killed Canadian History? is a timely and provocative release.

A recent test on Canada given to 100 first-year students at an Ontario university revealed the following statistics:
-- 61% did not know that Sir John A. Macdonald was our first English-speaking prime minister
-- 55% did not know that Canada was founded in 1867
-- 95% did not know that 1837 was the date of the Rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada
-- 92% did not know the year of the first Quebec referendum

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User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

Jack Granatstein has written a book lamenting the lack of teaching of Canadian political and military history from a national perspective. I agree with him. He notes that what history is taught in ... Read full review


No Flanders Fields? Canadians War
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About the author (1998)

Scholar and author Jack Lawrence Granatstein was born in Toronto in 1939. Considered an authority on 20th century Canadian national history (particularly foreign and defense policies), Canadian-American relations, the military, public service, and politics, Granatstein regularly comments on historical questions and public affairs in the media. He is a graduate of both Le College Militaire Royal de St. Jean (1959) and the Royal Military College in Kingston (1961). Granatstein also received a master's degree from the University of Toronto in 1962 and a Ph.D. from Duke University in 1966. He served in the Canadian Army from 1956 to 1966. Afterward, Granatstein joined the History Department at York University in Toronto, where he is now Distinguished Research Professor of History Granatstein's scholarly and popular books are many. They include The Politics of Survival: The Conservative Party of Canada 1939-45 (published in 1967), Peacekeeping: International Challenge and Canadian Response (1968), and Canada's War: The Politics of the Mackenzie King Government 1939-45 (1975). Among his more recent works are the Dictionary of Canadian Military History (1992), The Generals: The Canadian Army's Senior Commanders in the Second World War (1993, 1995), The Good Fight: Canadians and World War II (1995), and Who Killed Canadian History (1998). Granatstein was awarded the Tyrrell Medal for Canadian History in 1992 and the Medal for Biography from the University of British Columbia in 1993. He was granted honorary degrees from Memorial University and the University of Calgary.

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