Canada at War: Conscription, Diplomacy, and Politics
War can subject nations and their peoples to immense strain, and the dangers both tear societies apart and transform attitudes at a great pace. In this collection of his previously published essays on the two world wars, J.L. Granatstein brings together research from archives in Canada and abroad, illuminating Canada’s political transition from the British to American sphere of influence in the first half of the twentieth century.
Canada at War examines the impact of both world wars on Canada and Canadians by examining conscription, foreign policy, and politics, with William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest-serving prime minister, acting as the book’s central figure. Mackenzie King knew that Canada had barely survived the conscription crisis of the Great War, and he strove to avoid similar political strains in the Second World War. In Canada at War, Granatstein reflects on the most significant issues affecting Canadians during the wars, showing how this period ushered change into the Canadian landscape and transformed Canada into the country that it is today.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 328 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
"J.L. Granatstein is a national treasure. For over sixty years, this soldier, professor, museum director, public intellectual, and professional provocateur has been exploring and revealing the hard truths behind Canada’s national history. This collection of his essays stirs the historical imagination and is essential reading for all Canadians who want to understand war and politics in all their complexity. In his unflinching style and pursuit of the past as it was, and not how we wish it were, Granatstein has revealed not only how Canadians struggled in times of conflict and turmoil, but also how those decisions continue to resonate and shape contemporary Canada."
Tim Cook, author of Vimy: The Battle and the Legend and The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering, and Remaking Canada's Second World War
"This collection traces the sustained work over the past fifty years of the foremost historian of Canadian politics in the era of the two world wars. It is a wonderful journey of discovery into the new sources and analytical frameworks with which he reshaped our understanding of this crucial era. Lucid prose – Granatstein’s trademark – brings to life the remarkable people and the burning issues that profoundly influenced the country and brought it onto the world stage at a time of international upheaval and violence."
Roger Sarty, Department of History, Wilfrid Laurier University
Author InformationJ.L. Granatstein is the former director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum and a distinguished research professor emeritus of History.
Table of contents
Section I: Conscription
1. "To win, at any cost": Politics and Manpower Policies, 1917
2. Conscription in the Great War
3. The Conservative Party and Conscription in the Second World War
4. The York South By-Election of 1942
5. The "Hard" Obligations of Citizenship: The Second World War in Canada
6. Conscription and My Politics
Section II: Diplomacy
7. "A self-evident national duty": Canadian Foreign Policy, 1935–1939 (and R. Bothwell)
8. Mackenzie King and Canada at Ogdensburg, August 1940
9. The Hyde Park Declaration of 1941 (and R. Cuff)
10. The Man Who Wasn't There: Mackenzie King, Canada, and the Atlantic Charter
11. Happily on the Margins: Mackenzie King and Canada at the Quebec Conferences
Section III: Politics
12. Financing the Liberal Party, 1935–45
13. King and His Cabinet, 1939–45
14. The Evacuation of the Japanese Canadians, 1942: A Realist Critique of the Received Version (and Gregory A. Johnson)
15. Arming the Nation: The Canadian Industrial War Effort, 1939–1945
16. A Half-Century On: The Veterans' Experience
17. "What Is to Be Done?": The Future of Canadian Second World War History
18. Thirty Years in the Trenches: A Military Historian's Report on the War between Teaching and Research
Subjects and Courses