This book is the first collection of scholarly essays to treat the topic of antisemitism in Canada, a complete history of which has yet to be written. Eleven leading thinkers in the field examine antisemitism in Canada, from the colonial era to the present day, in essays which reflect the saga of the nation itself. The history of the Jewish community, its struggles and its fortunes is mirrored in the wider history of Canada, from Confederation to the present.
The contributors cast light on Canadian antisemitism through a thorough examination of old and new tensions, including Anglo-French, east-west and Jewish-Ukrainian relations. Attitudes to Jews in pre-Confederation Canada, French Canada from Confederation to World War I as well as the interwar years, and in twentieth-century Ontario and Alberta from 1880-1950 are illustrated in various chapters. Of particular interest are the examinations of such well-known figures as Goldwin Smith, the greatly admired liberal historian of Victorian Canada, Adrien Arcand, the would-be Führer from Quebec, and James Keegstra and Ernst Züdel, of more recent notoriety. Analyses are also provided of Nazism and Canadian Protestantism and Jewish-Ukrainian relations since World War II. This is a complex and contentious subject; yet, to understand the ideas and forces that have sought to undermine the Jewish presence in Canada is to understand the dangers that threaten any democratic society, and thereby to guard against them.
This compelling collection of essays offers intelligent, readable accounts of an area of Canadian history about which we know too little.
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
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