Ngaio's Reviews > As You Were: The Tragedy at Valcartier

As You Were by Gerry Fostaty
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really liked it
bookshelves: disease-medical-related, history, canada-canadian, war-military, read-in-2014, disaster-survival, culture

Some tragedies become part of the national consciousness and some fade away given time and it's not always clear why.

I have to admit that before I read this book I'd never heard of the Valcartier Tragedy. I asked around, but no one else had heard of it either. After reading this book I find that both surprising and unsurprising. Given the horrible nature of the tragedy and the fact that most of the wounded and all of the dead were teenagers, one would think that it would be a famous event. Yet, this was the 1970's and it happened within a military culture that could lock down information in a way that a civilian situation wouldn't be able to so perhaps it's less astonishing that it was made quiet.

Fostaty's work puts the reader vividly in his shoes during his cadet days and during the event itself. A significant portion of the book is spent on describing cadet life, but I think without that the average person could not understand the reactions of those present.

I think that more Canadians should know this story. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the military, its history, or in Canadian history.
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Reading Progress

November 29, 2011 – Shelved
November 29, 2011 – Shelved as: disease-medical-related
November 29, 2011 – Shelved as: history
March 14, 2014 – Started Reading
March 14, 2014 –
page 58
March 14, 2014 – Shelved as: canada-canadian
March 14, 2014 – Shelved as: war-military
March 17, 2014 – Finished Reading
March 18, 2014 – Shelved as: read-in-2014
March 19, 2014 – Shelved as: disaster-survival
March 19, 2014 – Shelved as: culture

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