The Great Depression

1929-1939

Publisher: Anchor Canada
Over 1.5 million Canadians were on relief, one in five was a public dependant, and 70,000 young men travelled like hoboes. Ordinary citizens were rioting in the streets, but their demonstrations met with indifference, and dissidents were jailed. Canada emerged from the Great Depression a different nation.

The most searing decade in Canada's history began with the stock market crash of 1929 and ended with the Second World War. With formidable story-telling powers, Berton reconstructs its engrossing events vividly: the Regina Riot, the Great Birth Control Trial, the black blizzards of the dust bowl and the rise of Social Credit. The extraordinary cast of characters includes Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who praised Hitler and Mussolini but thought Winston Churchill "one of the most dangerous men I have ever known"; Maurice Duplessis, who padlocked the homes of private citizens for their political opinions; and Tim Buck, the Communist leader who narrowly escaped murder in Kingston Penitentiary.

In this #1 best-selling book, Berton proves that Canada's political leaders failed to take the bold steps necessary to deal with the mass unemployment, drought and despair. A child of the era, he writes passionately of people starving in the midst of plenty.

PRAISE FOR

"The Great Depression is the definitive work that will carry our collective memory with us into the next century." —Calgary Herald

"Berton's chilling magnum opus… [He] has produced something very near perfect. It's clearly written, fast-moving…and so well drafted it reads like a novel." —The Times Colonist, Victoria

"a scalding indictment of the law, big business, the bigots, the police and politicians." —Canadian Press