One in a Thousand: The Life and Death of Captain Eddie McKay, Royal Flying Corps
Published by University of Toronto Press on March 20, 2017
Tim Cook, a historian at the Canadian War Museum, wrote that this “well-written and deeply researched microhistory offers a detailed biography of one of Canada’s most important fighter pilots from the Great War.” Captain Eddie McKay flew with No. 24 Squadron and fought over the Somme offensive from July-October 1916, and survived “Bloody April” in 1917. McKay disappeared on 28 December as commander of “A” Flight, No. 23 Squadron. He was last seen diving on a German two-seater southeast of Ypres.
This book is unusual among Great War aviation titles because, as Cook comments, “[Broad] skillfully weaves… a robust defence of the historical process as he lays out the writing of the history with its successes and failures, investigative victories, and time-consuming historical dead ends. This forensic deconstruction of historical methods, tools, and approaches is first class.”
Professor Broad’s extensive notes on how to identify relevant source materials, how to pose questions, and how to assemble a book into a coherent story are invaluable.
Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI