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The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars Of Sam Hughes And General…

av Tim Cook

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
565349,929 (4.1)3
Based on newly uncovered sources, The Madman and the Butcher is a powerful double biography of Sam Hughes and Arthur Currie and the story of one of the most shocking and highly publicized libel trials in Canadian history. Sir Arthur Currie achieved international fame as Canadian Corps commander during the Great War. He was recognized as a brilliant general, morally brave, and with a keen eye for solving the challenges of trench warfare. But wars were not won without lives lost. Who was to blame for Canada's 60,000 dead? Sir Sam Hughes, Canada's war minister during the first two and a half years of the conflict, was erratic, outspoken, and regarded by many as insane. Yet he was an expert on the war. He attacked Currie's reputation in the war's aftermath, accusing him of being a butcher, a callous murderer of his own men. Set against the backdrop of Canadians fighting in the Great War, this engaging narrative explores questions of Canada's role in the war, the need to place blame for the terrible blood loss, the nation's discomfort with heroes, and the very public war of reputations that raged on after the guns fell silent.… (mer)
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Visar 5 av 5
The Trial of the Century, Sir Arthur Currie vs Sir Sam Hughes, Mr. Hughes already in his grave, but haunts Mr. Currie still, this book delves into history behind the court case. Very well-researched and well-written. ( )
  charlie68 | Dec 27, 2017 |
This a very readable volume that focuses on the relationship between general Arthur Currie and Sir Sam Hughes. Currie led the Canadian Army during WW I while Hughes wanted to be assigned the job but was the Minister of Militia and Defence. Hughes showed his brilliance at organization by taking the Canadian Army in 1914 from mostly militia units into a force of trained men that he was able to ship to England in October. However, he could be blind to his mistakes and when advised of them, refused to acknowledge them. The Ross Rifle was one of his big ones as was his insistence on all equipment be made in Canada. When the soldier's shoes fell apart in the wet trenches, he refused to believe it or track down the manufacturer who made the shoddy shoes.

Eventually he became unwelcome at the front or even in military areas in England as he badgered the military with his ideas on how the war should be fought. When his incompetence and belligerence became to much for Prime Minister Borden, he was sacked. He then became a thorn in the Government's side attacking them and General Currie for the way the war was being conducted. Even when the war was over, he continued his attacks on Currie for the times during the war when Currie had stood up to him and not followed his demands.

As well as biographies of both men, this is also an examination of how the war was conducted in the areas where the Canadians were involved. Because the Canadians under Currie became very efficient at wining against impossible odds, they became known as the shock troops who the Germans feared. Just having the Canadians across no man's land from a German force influenced the Germans to suspect an attack for which they brought in extra men to confront. This was used once as a rouse to make the Germans think the attack was in one sector of the front when it was really at another. Recommended. ( )
  lamour | Sep 11, 2017 |
This is a very thorough history of two Canadian giants of WWI, Sir Sam Highes (the madman) and Sir Arthur Currie (the butcher). ( )
  MaggieFlo | Jan 15, 2015 |
Tim Cook examines two key Canadian figures of World War I in this book.. "The Madman" is Minister Sam Hughes; "the Butcher" is General Arthur Currie. The book traces their war-time actions and decisions, as well as the vendetta that continued after the world, resulting in a libel trial. In that trial, lawyers questioned many war-time decisions, sounding (to me) like armchair quarterbacks.

I liked Mr. Cook's writing style. I also liked that he gave a balanced portrait of both Hughes and Currie.

Mr. Hughes was prone to histrionics and vengeance, but may have been the only person who could have mobilized the Canadian forces at the time. He created the Valcartier training centre, which remains active today. He also made terrible decisions regarding Ross Rifles, and created confusion as to who was in charge on the battlefield.

Mr. Currie embezzled funds from his regiment to cover personal debts. He also constantly sought to learn and to do everything possible to prevent needless loss of life.

Both shared a strong commitment to young soldiers.

This book shows how a few powerful people can have a major influence on world events. ( )
  LynnB | Sep 9, 2014 |
A readable, balanced and entertaining study of two Canadian historical figures. There is no doubt that Arthur Currie was one of the greatest of Canadians. Sam Hughes - figure of controversy and fun - comes out of this book as a figure of both fun (my words, certainly not the author's) and greatness. ( )
  RobertP | Aug 28, 2011 |
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Based on newly uncovered sources, The Madman and the Butcher is a powerful double biography of Sam Hughes and Arthur Currie and the story of one of the most shocking and highly publicized libel trials in Canadian history. Sir Arthur Currie achieved international fame as Canadian Corps commander during the Great War. He was recognized as a brilliant general, morally brave, and with a keen eye for solving the challenges of trench warfare. But wars were not won without lives lost. Who was to blame for Canada's 60,000 dead? Sir Sam Hughes, Canada's war minister during the first two and a half years of the conflict, was erratic, outspoken, and regarded by many as insane. Yet he was an expert on the war. He attacked Currie's reputation in the war's aftermath, accusing him of being a butcher, a callous murderer of his own men. Set against the backdrop of Canadians fighting in the Great War, this engaging narrative explores questions of Canada's role in the war, the need to place blame for the terrible blood loss, the nation's discomfort with heroes, and the very public war of reputations that raged on after the guns fell silent.

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