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History > Canadian History > 1867 to Present

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The Battle for Berlin, Ontario Cover

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The Battle for Berlin, Ontario

An Historical Drama

In August 1914, Berlin, Ontario, settled largely by people of German origin, was a thriving, peaceful city. By the spring of 1915 it was a city torn apart by the tensions of war. By September 1916, Berlin had become Kitchener. It began with the need to raise a battalion of 1,100 men to support the British war effort.

Meeting with resistance from a peace-loving community and spurred on by the jingoistic nationalism that demanded troops to fight the hated “Hun,” frustrated soldiers began assaulting citizens in the streets and, on one infamous occasion, a Lutheran clergyman in his parsonage. Out of this turmoil arose a movement to rid the city of its German name, and this campaign, together with the recruiting efforts, made 1916 the most turbulent year in Kitchener’s history.

This is the story of the men and women involved in these battles, the soldiers, the civic officials, the business leaders, and the innocent bystanders, and how they behaved in the face of conditions they had never before experienced.

The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests Cover

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The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests

Essays on Regional History of the Forty-ninth Parallel

Sterling Evans

The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests is the first collection of interdisciplinary essays bringing together scholars from both sides of the forty-ninth parallel to examine life in a transboundary region. The result is a text that reveals the diversity, difficulties, and fortunes of this increasingly powerful but little-understood part of the North American West. Contributions by historians, geographers, anthropologists, and scholars of criminal justice and environmental studies provide a comprehensive picture of the history of the borderlands region of the western United States and Canada.

The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests is divided into six parts: Defining the Region, Colonizing the Frontier, Farming and Other Labor Interactions, the Borderlands as a Refuge in the Nineteenth Century, the Borderlands as a Refuge in the Twentieth Century, and Natural Resources and Conservation along the Border. Topics include the borderlands’ environment; its aboriginal and gender history; frontier interactions and comparisons; agricultural and labor relations; tourism; the region as a refuge for Mormons, far-right groups, and Vietnam War resisters; and conservation and natural resources. These areas show how the history and geography of the borderlands region has been transboundary, multidimensional, and unique within North America.

Canada and the Second World War Cover

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Canada and the Second World War

Essays in Honour of Terry Copp

Edited by Geoffrey Hayes

Chasing the Comet Cover

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Chasing the Comet

A Scottish-Canadian Life

“Dour Scot” is the wrong description for David Caldow, who leads readers on a romp from the early twentieth century to the present, from an insular Scottish village to modern-day, multicultural British Columbia, from boyhood to old age. Throughout the tour he shares decades of laughter, tears, fears, and growth.

In 1910, the certain path of David’s life in Scotland is disrupted by the visit of an awe-inspiring comet. This brilliant visitor inspires the boy to dream of circling the world, like the comet, even though his life’s goal is to become a farm manager, like his father. As a young man seeking to fulfill his dreams, he travels to Canada and works his way from Quebec to British Columbia, guided by the lessons of his father and his memories of Scotland.

During his travels he grows in his understanding of himself, of the nature of love, of the ways of the world and its peoples, and of the poetry of Robert Burns. As a worker for the Farmer’s Institute and as farm manager for Colony Farm and Tranquille, two extensive BC government-owned farms, David contributes to raising the standards of Canadian agriculture. At seventy years old, he broadens the scope of his world even further, accepting a two-year Canadian federal-government position teaching farming in Tanzania.

Chasing the Comet is a true story that reads like fiction. David’s candour and his Scottish humour help him survive and thrive. In the book’s epilogue, David ponders the meaning of all his years of living, addressing questions such as: What is love? What is success? And how does one achieve them?

David Caldow lived an active life in Surrey, British Columbia until his death at the age of ninety-six.

China Diary Cover

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China Diary

The Life of Mary Austin Endicott

Mary Austin was a mayor’s daughter who expected to live an uneventful life in Canada. But when she said “I do” to Jim Endicott she found that she had “married China.”

Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, but undeterred by the political turmoil around her in China, Mary Austin Endicott determined she would achieve the goals she set for herself. She bore and raised four children, ran a one-room school and became the foster mother to three Chinese boys, despite the raised eyebrows of many of her fellow missionaries.

The family moved back to Canada, but it wasn’t long before Jim, who was becoming a well-known peace activist, returned to wartorn China. Mary, by then a school trustee, continued her fight for teachers’ rights and focussed her energy on increased activity in left-wing politics, all the while separated from Jim and grieving for a marriage she felt to be in jeopardy.

Mary and Jim were finally reunited in 1947 in the police state Shanghai had become. She used all her energy and faith in that time to help Jim regain his equilibrium. For thousands of readers her book Five Stars over China countered the common practice during the Cold War of vilifying the Chinese Revolution. Then her greatest crisis came: Jim was accused of treason.

Shirley Jane Endicott has presented us with a fascinating account of her mother’s life, based on Mary Austin Endicott’s private writings and flavoured with Shirley’s memories. She brings to life the story of an exceptional woman whose life was shaped by profound political and historical circumstances.

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The Dominion of Youth

Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada, 1920 to 1950

Adolescence, like childhood, is more than a biologically defined life stage: it is also a sociohistorical construction. The meaning and experience of adolescence are reformulated according to societal needs, evolving scientific precepts, and national aspirations relative to historic conditions. Although adolescence was by no means a “discovery” of the early twentieth century, it did assume an identifiably modern form during the years between the Great War and 1950.

The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada, 1920 to 1950 captures what it meant for young Canadians to inhabit this liminal stage of life within the context of a young nation caught up in the self-formation and historic transformation that would make modern Canada. Because the young at this time were seen paradoxically as both the hope of the nation and the source of its possible degeneration, new policies and institutions were developed to deal with the “problem of youth.” This history considers how young Canadians made the transition to adulthood during a period that was “developmental”—both for youth and for a nation also working toward individuation. During the years considered here, those who occupied this “dominion” of youth would see their experiences more clearly demarcated by generation and culture than ever before. With this book, Cynthia Comacchio offers the first detailed study of adolescence in early-twentieth-century Canada and demonstrates how young Canadians of the period became the nation’s first modern teenagers.

First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life Cover

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First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life

The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia

Simone Poliandri

Issues of identity figure prominently in Native North American communities, mediating their histories, traditions, culture, and status. This is certainly true of the Mi’kmaw people of Nova Scotia, whose lives on reserves create highly complex economic, social, political, and spiritual realities. This ethnography investigates identity construction and negotiations among the Mi’kmaq, as well as the role of identity dynamics in Mi’kmaw social relationships on and off the reserve. Featuring direct testimonies from over sixty individuals, this work offers a vivid firsthand perspective on contemporary Mi’kmaw reserve life.

Simone Poliandri begins First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life with a search for the criteria used by the Mi’kmaq to construct their identities, which are traced within the context of their different perceptions of community, tradition, spirituality, relationship with the Catholic Church, and the recent reevaluation of the iconic figure of late activist Annie Mae Aquash. Building on the notions of self-identification and ascribed identity as the primary components of identity, Poliandri argues that placing others at specific locations within the social landscape of their communities allows the Mi’kmaq to define and reinforce their own spaces by way of association, contrast, or both. This identification of others highlights Mi’kmaw people’s agency in shaping and monitoring the representations of their identities. With its theoretical insights, this richly textured ethnography will enhance understanding of identity dynamics among Indigenous communities even as it illuminates the unique nature of the Mi’kmaw people.

From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City Cover

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From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City

A Historical Geography of Greater Sudbury

From Meteorite Impact to Constellation City is a historical geography of the City of Greater Sudbury. The story that began billions of years ago encompasses dramatic physical and human events. Among them are volcanic eruptions, two meteorite impacts, the ebb and flow of continental glaciers, Aboriginal occupancy, exploration and mapping by Europeans, exploitation by fur traders and Canadian lumbermen and American entrepreneurs, the rise of global mining giants, unionism, pollution and re-greening, and the creation of a unique constellation city of 160,000.

The title posits the book’s two main themes, one physical in nature and the other human: the great meteorite impact of some 1.85 billion years ago and the development of Sudbury from its inception in 1883. Unlike other large centres in Canada that exhibit a metropolitan form of development with a core and surrounding suburbs, Sudbury developed in a pattern resembling a cluster of stars of differing sizes.

Many of Sudbury’s most characteristic attributes are undergoing transformation. Its rocky terrain and the negative impact from mining companies are giving way to attractive neighbourhoods and the planting of millions of trees. Greater Sudbury’s blue-collar image as a union powerhouse in a one-industry town is also changing; recent advances in the fields of health, education, retailing, and the local and international mining supply and services sector have greatly diversified its employment base. This book shows how Sudbury evolved from a village to become the regional centre for northeastern Ontario and a global model for economic diversification and environmental rehabilitation.

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Hélier, fils des bois

Jamais réédité depuis sa parution dans les années 1930, ce grand roman de Marie Le Franc – par ailleurs récipiendaire du prix Femina en 1927 – apparaît au lecteur d’aujourd’hui comme la première incursion littéraire féminine dans la forêt nordique. Cette oeuvre déploie un fascinant imaginaire de la forêt, ici celui du lac Tremblant dans les Laurentides, qui se nourrit des paysages découverts lors des nombreux séjours de la romancière et des sensations vécues au contact d’une nature qui, sans être totalement hostile à l’être humain, n’en demeure pas moins extrêmement difficile à habiter. La radicale altérité de la forêt, qui se joue de rapports intimes et intérieurs, renforce l’intérêt contemporain pour cette oeuvre.

“I Want to Join Your Club” Cover

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“I Want to Join Your Club”

Letters from Rural Children, 1900-1920

“I am a girl, 13 years old, and a proper broncho buster. I can cook and do housework, but I just love to ride.”

In letters written to the children’s pages of newspapers, we hear the clear and authentic voices of real children who lived in rural Canada and Newfoundland between 1900 and 1920. Children tell us about their families, their schools, jobs and communities and the suffering caused by the terrible costs of World War I.

We read of shared common experiences of isolation, hard work, few amenities, limited educational opportunities, restricted social life and heavy responsibilities, but also of satisfaction over skills mastered and work performed. Though often hard, children’s lives reflected a hopeful and expanding future, and their letters recount their skills and determination as well as family lore and community histories.

Children both make and participate in history, but until recently their role has been largely ignored. In “I Want to Join Your Club,” Lewis provides direct evidence that children’s lives, like adults’, have both continuity and change and form part of the warp and woof of the social fabric.

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