Here’s my chat with Matthew Barrett and Robert Engen about Through Their Eyes: A Graphic History of Hill 70 and Canada’s First World War. This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. And the podcast is also available on YouTube. Please like and subscribe to that video channel.
Matthew is an historian, animator, illustrator, and caricaturist. He holds a PhD in history from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Beginning in the centenary year of the First World War, he started a blog to detail the biographies, experiences and personalities of each and every CEF battalion commander. His YouTube channel with animations can be found here YouTube Animations. Matt is the author of Scandalous Conduct: Canadian Officer Courts Martial, 1914–45 (UBC Press, 2022) plus he’s the co-author and illustrator of Through Their Eyes: A Graphic History of Hill 70 and Canada’s First World War (MQUP, 2022).
Robert is the author of two books: Canadians Under Fire: Infantry Effectiveness in the Second World War, and Strangers in Arms: Combat Motivation in the Canadian Army. He is also co-editor of Military Education and the British Empire. He has had articles published in Canadian Historical Review, Journal of Military, Veterans and Family Health, Canadian Military History, and Canadian Army Journal. He is the lead editor and co-author, with Matthew, of the graphic history of Through Their Eyes: A Graphic History of Hill 70 and Canada’s First World War.
Through Their Eyes recounts “the summer of 1917, when Canadian troops had captured Vimy Ridge, but Allied offensives had stalled across many fronts of the Great War. To help break the stalemate of trench warfare, the Canadian Corps commander, Lieutenant-General Arthur Currie, was tasked with capturing Hill 70, a German stronghold near the French town of Lens. After securing the hill on 15 August, Canadian soldiers endured days of shelling, machine-gun fire, and poison gas as they repelled relentless enemy counterattacks. Through Their Eyes depicts this remarkable but costly victory in a unique way. With full-colour graphic artwork and detailed illustration, Matthew Barrett and Robert Engen picture the battle from different perspectives – Currie’s strategic view at high command, a junior officer’s experience at the platoon level, and the vantage points of many lesser-known Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. This innovative graphic history invites readers to reimagine the First World War through the eyes of those who lived it and to think more deeply about how we visualize and remember the past. Combining outstanding original art and thought-provoking commentary, Through Their Eyes uncovers the fascinating stories behind this battle while creatively expanding the ways that history is shared and represented.”
You can discover more about Matthew at MatthewKBarrett.com
You can discover more about Robert at RobertEngen.ca
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