Two portraits flank the doors leading into Canada’s House of Commons: those of Sir Robert Borden and William Lyon Mackenzie King. But it is the plaques that are of particular interest. Borden’s caption reads: “World War I War Leader, 1914–1918,” and King’s caption is similar: “World War II War Leader, 1939–1945.” No other dates are given. Defining Borden by his wartime leadership makes sense, since he did little of note before the war, but it does not ring true for King, Canada’s longest-serving prime minister. Yet for both, world wars shaped their careers and legacies. They ushered in massive government changes: income tax, health care, and conscription; changes to society through industrialization, enfranchisement, and patriotic unpaid labour; and they raised enormous armed forces from a civilian base.
Warlords is a fast-paced narrative that humanizes the war effort through the eyes of these prime ministers. By creating this unique double portrait, the multiple-award-winning Tim Cook describes the challenges faced by two politicians in extreme circumstances and offers an invaluable perspective of war and war leaders.
Finalist – RBC Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
Shortlist – Canadian Authors’ Association Non-Fiction Award
TIM COOK is Chief Historian and Director of Research at the Canadian War Museum. His bestselling books have won multiple awards, including three Ottawa Book prizes for Literary Non-Fiction and two C.P. Stacey Awards for the best book in Canadian military history. In 2008 he won the J.W. Dafoe Prize for At the Sharp End and again in 2018 for Vimy: The Battle and the Legend. Shock Troops won the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. Cook is a frequent commentator in the media, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Order of Canada.