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Merrily Weisbord and Merilyn Simonds Mohr
Toronto, HarperCollins, 1991. 171pp, cloth, $29.95
ISBN 0-00-215744-6. CIP

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Marsh Kaiserman

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Any Canadian with even a mild interest in history knows about the disaster of Dieppe. Unfortunately, Dieppe was only one of many disasters that seemed to follow Canadian troops during World War II. The Valour and the Horror describes three of these disasters in the context of the larger cam­paigns with which they were associated. We knew about the valour. The horror should shock and anger us.

Brian and Terence McKenna, the brothers who produced the three-part television series on which this book is based, originally set out to tell the story of ordinary Canadians at war. They began with World War I and continued on to World War II. For their series on World War II, they chose three well-known battles, the Battle of Hong Kong, the bombing of Europe, and the battle for Normandy. Their perspective is that of the fighting man and, after interviewing hundreds of soldiers, they have produced an evocative and gut-wrenching series.

Like so many books based on television series, however, The Valour and the Horror lacks the emotional and visual impact of the video. Nevertheless, this book should be required reading. The survivors need to be heard.

Highly recommended.

Marsh Kaiserman, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, Ottawa, Ont.

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