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McKay and Jamie Swift

Ian McKay is the L.R. Wilson Chair in Canadian History at McMaster University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2009 he won the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize awarded by the Canadian Historical Association for Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People’s Enlightenment in Canada, 1890–1920. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Jamie Swift is a lecturer at Queen’s University and the author of many books, including Persistent Poverty: Voices from the Margins and Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety, which was also co-authored with Ian McKay. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Montreal Gazette, The Kingston Whig-Standard, and Briarpatch Magazine. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.


Ian McKay and Jamie Swift on The Vimy Trap

Award History

2016 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War

Jury Citation

“In recent years, the idea that “Canada became a nation” at the April 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge has practically become an official doctrine of the Canadian state. The Vimy Trap is for those who have nagging instinctive doubts about this. It is an authoritative, sometimes indignant debunking of “Vimyism” that inquires into the truth of the battle, documents its mythologization, and reflects on the legacy of the First World War. McKay and Swift’s book is almost too contrarian and hard-hitting to be Canadian, and almost too well-written for its dual byline to seem possible.” – 2016 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Nahlah Ayed, Megan Leslie, and Colby Cosh)