Alan Bowker worked for thirty-five years in Canada’s foreign service, including serving as high commissioner to Guyana. He has a doctorate in Canadian history and has taught at Canada’s Royal Military College. He has edited two collections of essays by Stephen Leacock, including On the Front Line of Life and Social Criticism. He lives in Ottawa.
A Time Such as There Never Was Before
Ottawa Book Award 2015 — Shortlisted
Between 1918 and 1921 a great storm blew through Canada and raised the expectations of a new world in which all things would be possible.|
The years after World War I were among the most tumultuous in Canadian history: a period of unremitting change, drama, and conflict. They were, in the words of Stephen Leacock, “a time such as there never was before.”
The war had been a great crusade, promising a world made new. But it had cost Canada sixty thousand dead and many more wounded, and it had widened the many fault lines in a young, diverse country. In a nation struggling to define itself and its place in the world, labour, farmers, businessmen, churches, social reformers, and minorities had extravagant hopes, irrational fears, and contradictory demands.
What had this sacrifice achieved? Whose hopes would be realized and whose dreams would end in disillusionment? Which changes would prove permanent and which would be transitory? A Time Such As There Never Was Before describes how this exciting period laid the foundation of the Canada we know today.