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We often picture life on the Canadian home front as a time of
austerity, as a time when women went to work and men went to war. A
Small Price to Pay, the first full-length study of consumer
culture in wartime Canada, explodes this myth of home front sacrifice
by bringing to light the contradictions of consumer society during the
Second World War.
Wartime governments pressured Depression-weary citizens to save for
the sake of the nation, but Canadians had money in their pockets after
years of want, and the fantasy realm of advertisements promised them
fresh groceries, glamorous movies, and new cars and appliances. Graham
Broad reveals that our “greatest generation” was not
impervious to temptation but rather embarked on one of the biggest
spending booms in our nation’s history.