Brock Millman Awarded the 2016 C.P. Stacey Prize

2016 C.P. Stacey Prize Goes to Brock Millman

Dr. Brock Millman is the recipient of the 2016 C.P. Stacey Prize for his book Polarity, Patriotism and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914-1919 (but only awarded this year).  This is a well-deserved tribute to a wonderful historian. Congratulations, Dr. Millman!

For your information, the citation for the award reads:

The jury had to consider an excellent collection of books in Canadian Military History for the 2016 C.P. Stacey Prize. It finally concluded that the winner was Brock Millman's Polarity, Patriotism and Dissent in Great War Canada.

This book is a provocative and enriching interpretation of Canada’s home front struggle during the Great War.  The study contributes to many fields of study, but Millman ably situates how the Borden government managed dissent during the years of 1914 to 1919. He sees Canadian society divided into three broad groups: British Canada, a very imperialist and enthusiastic pro war part of the population ready for conscription after 1916; French Canada, centered around the province of Quebec and ready to do its bit for the war but anti-conscriptionist; and what he calls the New Canadians, recent immigrants to the country, many of them escaping war or authoritarian regimes, and some coming from countries that the British Empire was now at war.  As a whole, new Canadians generally supported the war effort although with some opposition, but they were easily identifiable targets for patriotic Canadians who saw them as different.  Millman demonstrates how the government struggled with the increasingly unlimited war effort, and with a strong majority of Canadians who seemed willing to prosecute the war to the bitter end, no matter the cost. As the death toll reached unimaginable numbers, Canadians, angry, grief-stricken, and frustrated, sought out those in their midst who they perceived as disloyal.  Most were not, but tensions ran high.  The War measures Act allowed the Borden government to suppress opposition through censorship and imprisonment, but Millman also describes how hyper-patriotic citizens and returned soldiers often took to the streets, intimidating and assaulting those deemed disloyal.  Millman draws upon a rich selection of sources to show that the war brought Canadians together like never before, while also tearing them apart along existing and new fault lines.