MQUP prank

MQUP prank McGill University

| Skip to search Skip to navigation Skip to page content

User Tools (skip):

Sign in | Friday, November 30, 2018
Sister Sites: McGill website | myMcGill

McGill Reporter
September 12, 2002 - Volume 35 Number 01
| Help
Page Options (skip): Larger

MQUP prank

It's not too surprising if a first ye

Photo Present for Defence Minister John McCallum
ar Canadian history student is hazy on military history details. Hey, I sometimes forget what I ate for breakfast. But when recently appointed Defence Minister John McCallum confessed on the beaches of Dieppe, at the 60th anniversary commemoration of the disastrous World War Two raid, he'd never heard the story…

Well, eyebrows raised and scholars scoffed.

Then our overworked minister further slipped on his tongue in a letter to the National Post referring to Canada's moment of First World War glory at Vimy Ridge as Vichy, the Nazi-occupied town in Central France. Care for a side of vimyssoise with your plate of crow, John?

Some people reacted generously to McCallum's gaffes. McGill-Queen's University Press extended an educating hand by sending him a bushel of books on Canada's military endeavours. This fit of sympathetic largesse was thought up by MQUP publicist Dan Werb after the initial Dieppe admission. "I couldn't believe our Defence Minister knew nothing of Canadian military history," says Werb, adding, "It makes sense - he's been a banker for years.

"This gift of books is then both a tool for the minister as well as a symbolic gesture to remind Canadians of the importance of understanding and exploring Canada's history and culture," says Werb, adding that, "to know your past is to be able to move towards the future."

The books include: Brent Watson's Far Eastern Tour, detailing the Canadian military's horrible mismanagement of troops in Korea; Michael D. Stevenson's Canada's Greatest Wartime Muddle, which describes the failure of the National Selective Service to adequately handle the mobilization of the Canadian military and civilian apparatus during World War Two; Elinor Sloan's The Revolution in Military Affairs, which offers a broad examination of new trends in international militarism; The War Diary of Clare Gass, 1915-1918, a personal account of the horrors of war; and Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies, 1963-1968, an examination of the two countries' collective military, diplomatic and trade history. As well, MQUP has included a copy of George Grant's masterpiece, Lament for A Nation, a comment on the loss of Canadian sovereignty to American interests.

view sidebar content | back to top of page