My Grandfather's Knife

audiobook (Unabridged) Hidden Stories from the Second World War

By Joseph Pearson

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Even the most ordinary of objects can tell a spectacular story

A knife, a diary, a recipe book, a stringed instrument and a cotton pouch. Each belonged to an individual who was in their twenties during the Second World War: a fresh-faced prairie boy, a melancholic youth, a capable cook, a musician wounded at the front and a survivor.

Over a cup of tea, try asking your friends what object they'd choose to represent their lives. The enthusiasm of their responses will give you an indication of how well objects anchor sprawling personal histories. Joseph Pearson, a Canadian historian and author, talked to elderly family members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances––people drawn from everyday life––asking them the same question: Is there an object that tells your wartime story? In many cases, he asked the question in reverse: Could he discover the wartime story of a deceased person through an object they once owned?

Through rigorous research and in engaging prose, Joseph Pearson illuminates the often-dark history of the 20th century by bringing to life the stories of everyday objects in the hands of everyday people.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

My Grandfather's Knife