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Tim Cook, Canada’s leading war historian, ventures deep into World War Two in this epic two-volume story of heroism and horror, of loss and longing, sacrifice and endurance.

Written in Cook’s compelling narrative style, this book shows in impressive detail how soldiers, airmen, and sailors fought—the evolving tactics, weapons of war, logistics, and technology. It gauges Canadian effectiveness against the skilled enemy whom they confronted in battlefields from 1939 to 1943, from the sweltering heat of Sicily to the frigid North Atlantic, and from the urban warfare of Ortona to the dark skies over Germany. The Necessary War examines the equally important factors of morale, discipline, and fortitude of the Canadian citizen-soldiers.

The war was an engine of transformation for Canada. With a population of fewer than twelve million, Canada embraced its role as an arsenal of democracy, exporting war supplies, feeding its allies, and raising a million-strong armed forces that served and fought in nearly every theatre of war. The nation was mobilized like never before in the fight to preserve the liberal democratic order. The six-year-long exertion caused disruption, provoked nationwide industrialization, ushered in changes to gender roles, exacerbated the tension between English and French, and forged a new sense of Canadian identity. Canadians were willing to bear almost any burden and to pay the ultimate price in the pursuit of victory.

As with his award-winning two-volume series on WWI, Tim Cook uses original sources, letters from soldiers, rare documents, and maps of battlefields to illustrate the contributions and sacrifices made by what is often called the greatest generation. Magisterial in its scope, The Necessary War illuminates Canada’s past as never before. From the Western Front to the home front, Canadians served many roles in a war that had to be fought and won.

The Necessary War Vol. 1 by Tim Cook

Tim Cook is the Great War historian at the Canadian War Museum, as well as an adjunct professor at Carleton University. His books have won numerous awards, including the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction for Shock Troops. He lives in Ottawa with his family.

 

Photo of Tim Cook

The information age is drowning us in an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average person reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use these methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and lives.

With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to gambling in Las Vegas, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to daily life. His practical suggestions call for relatively minor changes that require little effort but will have remarkable long-term benefits for mental and physical health, productivity, and creativity.

This Is Your Brain on Music showed us how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows us how to navigate the churning flow of information in our daily lives with the same neuroscientific perspective.

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age Of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., is the James McGill professor of psychology and behavioural neuroscience at McGill University, where he also regularly teaches at the graduate school of business, and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI. The author of two New York Times bestselling books, This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs, he splits his time between Montreal and Orinda, California.

 

Photo of Daniel J. Levitin