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humanities 131 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 More autonomous and prickly in its nationalist identity, Canada=s army was usually left to figure out its own solutions. The miracle was that they often came up with good answers and excellent leaders. General Arthur Currie, a hero of this book, and Major-General Bert Hoffmeister, the best Canadian commander of the Second World War, were both militia officers. Hoffmeister took his inadequacies so seriously that he had an early nervous breakdown. Unusual good sense allowed him back into uniform, to shape and lead >Hoffy=s Maroon Machine,= the Fifth Canadian Armoured Division, in Italy and the Netherlands. Currie=s slower maturation from Victoria real estate agent to commander of the Canadian Corps allowed him to inherit and improve on the tactical common sense of his British predecessor, Sir Julian Byng. By using the initiative and experience of junior leaders and backing them with all the artillery ammunition he could lay his hands on, Currie devised the ponderous but effective >Canadian way of war= inherited by his less talented successors in Italy and northwest Europe. Granatstein=s important contribution in Canada=s Army and in earlier books, is to remind us that the learning curve had a high cost in lives. However veiled in propaganda and self-admiration, our early battles were often defeats aggravated by inexperience and incompetence. German chlorine gas at Ypres in April 1915, provided an admirable alibi for a largely self-inflicted disaster. The casualties in Normandy in 1944 that made the Third and Second Canadian Infantry Divisions the most bloodstained formations in General Montgomery=s army were the price of military amateurism, inconceivable only months later. By-products of heavy losses were our two conscription crises. Today, Granatstein argues, Canada=s land forces have been so consistently robbed of modern equipment and training time that the government =s claim of >combat-capable forces= is an internationally embarrassing lie. Jack Granatstein hopes his readers will learn from history. (DESMOND MORTON) Susan M. Turner. Something to Cry About: An Argument against Corporal Punishment of Children in Canada Wilfrid Laurier University Press. xix, 317. $29.95 Do you spank your children? If so, then Susan Turner has a question for you. Spanking is a form of corporal punishment, defined as the infliction of physical pain for the purpose of correcting behaviour. As such, it satisfies the legal definition of an assault. Assaulting another person is generally wrong and, with one significant exception, unlawful. That exception is embodied in section 43 of the Criminal Code, which authorizes parents or teachers to administer corporal punishment on children under their authority as long as >it does not exceed what is reasonable under the 132 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 circumstances.= Similar legal provisions once allowed the use of corporal punishment by husbands against wives, masters against servants and apprentices, guards against prisoners, and captains against crew members. Only the exception for children survives. The question Turner wants you to ponder is: How can that exception be justified? Why should we think we have the right to hit our children? Defenders of the corporal punishment of children generally rest their case on two lines of argument. Affirmatively, they claim that parents and teachers need recourse to this method of correction in order to keep children in line. Against this claim, Turner concedes that hitting a child may be an effective temporary means of interrupting disruptive behaviour. However, she argues that it is not only unnecessary but actually ineffective as a long-term strategy for improving behaviour. Negatively, the defenders claim that at least the milder forms of physical punishment, such as spanking, do no harm to children. In response, Turner rests her case on empirical evidence that children subjected to corporal punishment may as a consequence suffer both physical and psychological trauma, including longterm effects such as an increased tendency towards aggression. The use of such punishment by parents is also a risk factor for more severe forms of child physical abuse. If some form of conduct is both unnecessary and harmful, that is a pretty good moral...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 131-133
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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