One in a Thousand: The Life and Death of Captain Eddie McKay, Royal Flying Corps

TitleOne in a Thousand: The Life and Death of Captain Eddie McKay, Royal Flying Corps
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBroad, Graham
Number of Pages171
PublisherUniversity of Toronto Press
CityNorth York: Ontario, Canada

This short microhistory details the life and death of Alfred Edwin "Eddie" McKay, a varsity athlete at Western University, who flew with the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War. Graham Broad switches creatively from telling McKay's fascinating story to teaching valuable lessons on how to do history: why the past matters, why historians take different approaches, how to pose historical questions, how to identify relevant source materials, and the importance of thoughtful, intelligent, and respectful treatment of historical subjects. McKay's story touches on the fields of social, political, military, sport, and gender history, history of science and technology, education, aviation, imperial relations, and the social memory of war. 

The book includes a timeline of the subject's life, a map of relevant combat areas in the Battle of the Somme, and nine illustrations. It concludes with four unsolved events in McKay's life: a mysterious woman, a strange advertisement for batteries, an empty envelope, and an unknown grave—demonstrating that even a detailed history about one person's life is never really complete.

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