The Canadian Centenary Series

Canada 1922-1939

Decades of Discord

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Volume XV of the Canadian Centenary Series

Now available as e-books for the first time, the Canadian Centenary Series is a comprehensive nineteen-volume history of the peoples and lands which form Canada. Although the series is designed as a unified whole so that no part of the story is left untold, each volume is complete in itself.

Incorporating the research of a new generation of Canadian historians, John Herd Thompson and Allen Seager give broader dimensions to our picture of Canada during the inter-war years. Mackenzie King, J.S. Woodsworth, and R.B. Bennett come to life in their pages, but so too do provincial leaders like E.N. Rhodes, T.D. Pattullo, and Maurice Duplessis. Canada, 1922-1939 is also a story of ordinary Canadians, the men, women, and children for whom the 1920s didn’t “roar” and who bore the brunt of the Great Depression. 

Laurier’s boast that the twentieth century would belong to Canada became a bitter irony during the decades of discord bracketed by two world wars. Apart from the boom of the late twenties, economic instability characterized the period. Politically it was marked by regional division, the first minority governments, and the failed hopes of the Progressives and the pre-1914 social reform movements. These years saw Canada drift further from Britain’s orbit. Thompson and Seager chart the economic and diplomatic courses of Canada’s closer relationship with the United States and recount attempts of cultural nationalists like the Group of Seven and the Canadian Authors’ Association to create a “native” Canadian culture in the face of the invasion of American movies, magazines, and radio programs. 

Thompson and Seager have provided a balanced, authoritative history of one of Canada’s most traumatic and least understood periods. Canada, 1922-1939: Decades of Discord will supply amateur as well as academic historians with lively reading.

First published in 1985, Thompson and Seager’s important contribution to the Canadian Centenary Series is available here as an e-book for the first time.