Friday, December 18, 2009

Wolfe versus Crerar: who would win?

Well, both, actually. The C.P. Stacey Award in Canadian military history this year is shared by biographies of the two generals.
The Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War and the Canadian Commission of Military History are pleased to announce two winners for the 2008 C.P. Stacey Award. From a substantial list of Canadian military history titles published in 2006 or 2007, the judges chose for the prize Paul Douglas Dickson’s A Thoroughly Canadian General: A Biography of General H.D.G. Crerar (2007), published by University of Toronto Press and Stephen Brumwell’s Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe (2006), from McGill-Queen’s Press. The judges, Norman Hillmer, Serge Bernier and Doug Delaney concluded that both authors made noteworthy contributions to the field – Dickson for his mass of research on a little-known, yet critical, figure of Canada’s Second World War, and Brumwell for the eloquence of his prose and his convincing re-interpretation of the controversial James Wolfe.
But on the whole, I'd put my money on Crerar. Crerar had tanks (not that he could have got them up the Anse au Foulon).

Wolfe would have less patience than Crerar, I think, for the cautious, methodical plan of attack this award has been following. Brumwell's book appeared in 2006! Good to hear that the committee hopes to announce the 2010 Award (for books published 2008 or 2009) soon. And after that it will become an annual award.
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