Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

January 2014

January 20, 2014

In the latest issue of Geist magazine (#91) my regular column looks at two new books about the fetishization of the canoe in our national mythology.

The books are Inheriting a Canoe Paddle: the Canoe in Discourses of English-Canadian Nationalism by Misao Dean and Bruce Erickson's Canoe Nation: Nature, Race and the Making of a Canadian Icon.

"The virtue of these two new books is that...

January 14, 2014

Back in November the history department at Simon Fraser University sponsored an interesting panel discussion about Trudeaumania, past and present. You can watch it here.

It brought to mind my own brush with Pierre Trudeau back in the federal election of 1968. (I recently recalled this incident in a talk at Carleton University as one of the events which awoke in my younger self a dormant interest in Canada as a subject of...

January 6, 2014

Here we are, just a few days into the centennial year of World War One and already shots are being fired in the History Wars.

In Britain, the education secretary, Michael Gove, got off the first round, urging the commemoration of the war and dissing those "left-wing" historians who, he claimed, are misrepresenting the real meaning of the conflict, which...