Canadian historian Barry Gough has published more than eighteen books to critical acclaim, including Historical Dreadnoughts: Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History; Through Water, Ice & Fire: Schooner Nancy of the War of 1812; and Juan de Fuca’s Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams. For his contributions to civic life in Canada he has received many accolades, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is president of the British Columbia Historical Federation. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
From Classroom to Battlefield follows the experiences of this cohort through the Second Battle of Ypres, when Canadians suffered terribly from the German use of poison gas; the horrors of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and Amiens; and, at last, victory at Mons. It weaves Victoria High School’s idealistic hopes into the realities of the pain, suffering, and death in faraway fields of fire, while examining legacies of the conflict at home. This is a poignant book about war, memory, and sacrifice from one of Canada’s preeminent writers of historical nonfiction.
The essays are on such topics as family life in New France, the origins of British fiscal policy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, images of the negro in Victorian popular culture, Joseph Chamberlain and the “New Imperialism” in West Africa’s Gold Coast, and the controversial prime minister of Canada, Mackenzia King.
They are all important in their own sense as contributions to the historian’s ongoing search for the visible past.
Due attention is given to United States Navy actions under Commodore David Porter, to this day a subject of controversy. More significantly though, through the juxtaposition of British, American and Spanish sources, this book uncovers the roots of piracy – and suppression– that laid the foundation for the tortured decline of the Spanish empire in the Americas and the subsequent rise of British and American empires, instrumental in stamping out Caribbean piracy for good.