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The Reckoning

Canadian Prisoners of War in the Great War

Ottawa Book Award for English Non-Fiction

About the Book

Following on the heels of his book The Forgotten comes a new book about the lives of Canadian prisoners of war in the First World War.

Conditions in German POW camps were generally vile, with soldiers having little to eat but thin soup and putrid meat. Canadian men were used as slave labourers in salt mines and coal mines, and those who refused the work were beaten. Any soldiers thought to have engaged in sabotage were beaten and tortured, and some were murdered.

Some POWs attempted escape, a few more than once, using ingenious and dangerous methods. One soldier attempted to escape by secreting himself in a wicker bask. Others, who were hearty frontiersmen, did escape, making their way out of Germany by hiding in forests and ditches and using magnetized razor blades as a compass.

In The Reckoning bestselling author and Governor General’s Award–nominee Nathan M. Greenfield explores life and death in the camps, as well as the attempts to run for freedom. These are the forgotten stories of our soldiers at war and in the camps, and of how they never gave up hope of making it out alive.

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Critical Praise

“[The Reckoning] interweaves Great War battles with grim POW life into a readable, engrossing, at times funny tale of determination, hope and bloody-minded stubbornness.” —Maclean's

“A timely reminder of the sacrifices Canadian soldiers have made on battlefields around the world.” —Ottawa Magazine

“Revelatory and compelling.” —Times Literary Supplement

“Meticulously researched and vividly written, The Reckoning details the brutality and near-starvation faced by Canadian prisoners, and their bold and sometimes successful efforts to escape. An enthralling story and an invaluable addition to Canada’s First World War history.” —David Halton, author of Dispatches from the Front

“History lies in the detail, and the accomplished Nathan Greenfield provides a rich, granular helping. A subject few of us have contemplated--the punishment suffered by Canadian POWs during the Great War--becomes an engrossing read as a result. This is a good book.” —Neil Macdonald CBC News Neil Macdonald CBC News Neil Macdonald, CBC News

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443432627
  • ISBN 10: 1443432628
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 10/25/2016
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price: 33.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: HISTORY / Military / Canada
  • BISAC2: HISTORY / Military / World War I
  • BISAC3: HISTORY / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)

The Reckoning by Nathan M. Greenfield

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