The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War (Between the Lines) by Ian McKay and Jamie Swift has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards: the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize for best book of Canadian history.
The Vimy Trap questions the Birth of the Nation narrative of the Battle of Vimy Ridge itself and the First World War in general. Vimy 1917 is revealed to be a relatively inconsequential but much-mythologized. Nor was WWI widely revered by the men who actually fought, many of whom were ironically critical of the war both while it happened and even more so over the years that followed.
Now in its 17th year, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction published the previous year that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. The prize particularly values books which provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles. The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established by the Writers’ Trust of Canada in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario.
The Sir John A. Macdonald prize is awarded by the Canadian Historical Association. The prize is given to the non-fiction work of Canadian history judged to have made the most significant contribution to an understanding of the Canadian past. Founded in 1922, the Canadian Historical Association / La Société historique du Canada is a bilingual not-for-profit and charitable association devoted to fostering the scholarly study and communication of history in Canada. It is the largest of its kind in the country.The Association seeks to encourage the integration of historical knowledge and perspectives in both the scholarly and public spheres, to ensure the accessibility of historical resources, and to defend the rights and freedoms of professional and emerging historians in the pursuit of historical inquiry.
“For me, being nominated for two major prizes in a few days is an important validation for the myth-busting book that Ian and I wrote to set the historical record straight,” said Kingston’s Jamie Swift. “And it’s also proof that a feisty, independent Canadian publisher that’s been in business forty years now is still making important political waves.”
Ian McKay is the Wilson Professor of Canadian history at McMaster University. Jamie Swift is the author of numerous books and lectures at the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University.
Since 1977 Between the Lines books has published books that embrace critical perspectives on culture, economics, and society.
Posted March 21st, 2017