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Fall preview 2014: non-fiction, part II

HISTORY
Into The Blizzard
Of all the things Conrad Black has been accused of, his evident grandiosity is surely among the lesser charges. In his new book, Black shifts his writerly focus from the lives of American presidents and his own legal troubles to the country that recently terminated his appointment to the Order of Canada. Rise to Greatness: The History of Canada from the Vikings to the Present (McClelland & Stewart, $39.95 cl., Nov.) spans the year 874 to the present and is described as “a riveting tour de force by one of the best writers writing today.” • Journalist Gwynne Dyer (whose column was banned from many Canadian dailies when Black purchased the Southam newspaper chain) looks at Canada’s modern history in a less laudatory light. Canada in the Great Power Game 1914–2014 (Random House Canada, $34.95 cl., Aug.) tallies up the costs of Canada’s participation in foreign conflagrations since this country’s “baptism of fire” during the First World War.

Novelist Michael Winter offers a more idiosyncratic take on the First World War with Into the Blizzard: Walking the Fields of the Newfoundland Dead (Doubleday Canada, $29.95 cl., Nov.), in which the author retraces the steps of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, a battalion that played a crucial role in the Battle of the Somme. • Did we mention that 2014 is the centenary of the start of the Great War? That might be one reason for the glut of titles on the topic. Journalists Mark Forsythe and Greg Dickson offer a regional history of the war’s effects in From the West Coast to the Western Front: British Columbia and the Great War (Harbour Publishing, $26.95 pa., Aug.).

Tim Cook’s two-volume history of Canada’s role in the First World War set a new standard for modern-day military chroniclers. He turns his attention to the Second World War in a new two-­volume series, which kicks off in September with the release of The Necessary War, Volume 1 (Allen Lane Canada, $39.95 cl.).

ENVIRONMENT
Your Water FootprintWater may seem like a boundless resource, but journalist Stephen Leahy believes it’s something we too often take for granted. He sets out to show the aqueous costs of consumerism in Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products (Firefly Books, $19.95 pa., Sept.). • Vancouver’s Self-Counsel Press has several new entries in its ongoing Green Series. Greening Your Home and Greening Your Office ($12.95 pa., Sept.), by Anne-Marie Daniel, provide useful tips for a more environmentally friendly existence. • Soren Bondrup-­Nielsen, head of the biology department at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, offers reflections on landscape from an equestrian perspective in Merging: Contemplations on Farming and Ecology from Horseback, due from Gaspereau Press in July.