Canadian history


The History Wars in Canada


Jack Granatstein’s 1998 jeremiad Who Killed Canadian History? was the opening shot of the History Wars, a fierce conflict about the meaning and purpose of our nation’s past. Academic historians, he satirically concluded, had abandoned traditional military and political history in order to specialize in topics like “the history of housemaid’s knee in Belleville in the 1890s.” The general public...

Heritage Minutes, Rebel Mayor and More: Issue Six Launch Party on May 7!


We’re thrilled to announce that on May 7, to greet its sixth issue, The Toronto Review of Books is hosting the Canadian Historical Symbolism event of the season. Join us for what we suspect will be the world’s first Mystery-Science-Theatre-style screening of Heritage Minutes, along with some thoughts from Toronto political mascot @rebelmayor  (a.k.a. writer Shawn Micallef), a reading...

Jimmy Carter wonders what happened to the Canadians in Argo


Nobody should expect the movies, or novels, or monographs by political scientists, to be the last or only word on the past. The Longest Day (1962), Saving Private Ryan (1998), and Pearl Harbor (2001) offer at best a partial view of the Second World War while telling us more about the times and places in which they were made. In this light, the accuracy of the depiction of the 1979 Iran hostage...

A TRB Q&A with Richard Gwyn, author of Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times

Nation Maker

In the lead-up to the announcement of the winner of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize, The Toronto Review of Books will feature Q&As with each of the five finalists. In 2007, Richard Gwyn published John A: The Man Who Made Us, the first volume in his biography of Canada’s first prime minister, which won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction. John A. was a also...