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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.