Canada 1911


One hundred years ago, Canadians went to the polls to decide the fate of their country in an election that raised issues vital to Canada’s national independence and its place in the world. Canadians faced a clear choice between free trade with the United States and fidelity to the British Empire, and the decisions they made in September 1911 helped shape Canada’s political and economic history for the rest of the century. Canada 1911 revisits and re-examines this momentous turn in Canadian history, when Canadians truly found themselves at a parting of the ways. It was Canada’s first great modern election and one of the first expressions of the birth of modern Canada. The poet Rudyard Kipling famously wrote at the time that this election was nothing less than a fight for Canada’s soul. This book will explain why.


"This new volume is the perfect primer that just might lead to a resurgence in interest in Laurier and the lesser known Borden."

The Hill Times and Kingston Whig Standard

"It is a well-pace narrative for a popular audience."

The Winnipeg Free Press

"Dutil and MacKenzie have succeeded in bringing to life the Canada of a century ago in their fascinating, well-written, and well-researched book."

The Halifax Chronicle Herald

"Canada 1911 provides an in-depth look at a decisive election. [the authors] manage to make it clear why the election was so important to Canada, and why the themes heard in 1911 still resonate today. And there is no arguing that it was a key event in Canadian history."

The Victoria Times-Colonist

"Dutil and MacKenzie are to be congratulated for bringing the issues that dominated these important elections to the attention of modern readers in such entertaining and informative styles."

Literary Review of Canada

Popularly related, yet thoroughly researched, this volume will delight all of us who are fascinated by political campaigns and their often-disturbing results.

OHS Bulletin

the meticulous attention to detail makes Canada 1911 compelling.

Canada’s History

[the authors] manage to make it clear why the election was so important to Canada, and why the themes heard in 1911 still resonate today.

Beyond the Hill

Patrice Dutil and David MacKenzie sustain Dundurns reputation for page-turners.

The Dorchester Review

About the Authors

David MacKenzie

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
David MacKenzie photo

David MacKenzie

David MacKenzie is a professor of history at Ryerson University and the author of several books on Canadian history and international relations. He is also the editor of Canada and the First World War. He lives in Toronto.

Patrice Dutil

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Patrice Dutil photo

Patrice Dutil

Patrice Dutil is a professor of politics and public administration at Ryerson University, and the president of the Champlain Society. He is the author and editor of many books on various aspects of Canadian political history and public administration, including Macdonald at 200: New Reflections and Legacies (Dundurn). He lives in Toronto.