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Antisemitism in Canada

History and Interpretation

Edited by Alan Davies
Subjects Religion, History, Canadian History, Jewish Studies
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Paperback : 9780889202160, 312 pages, October 1992


This book is the first collection of scholarly essays to treat the topic of antisemitism in Canada, a complete history of which has yet to be written. Eleven leading thinkers in the field examine antisemitism in Canada, from the colonial era to the present day, in essays which reflect the saga of the nation itself. The history of the Jewish community, its struggles and its fortunes is mirrored in the wider history of Canada, from Confederation to the present.
The contributors cast light on Canadian antisemitism through a thorough examination of old and new tensions, including Anglo-French, east-west and Jewish-Ukrainian relations. Attitudes to Jews in pre-Confederation Canada, French Canada from Confederation to World War I as well as the interwar years, and in twentieth-century Ontario and Alberta from 1880-1950 are illustrated in various chapters. Of particular interest are the examinations of such well-known figures as Goldwin Smith, the greatly admired liberal historian of Victorian Canada, Adrien Arcand, the would-be Führer from Quebec, and James Keegstra and Ernst Züdel, of more recent notoriety. Analyses are also provided of Nazism and Canadian Protestantism and Jewish-Ukrainian relations since World War II. This is a complex and contentious subject; yet, to understand the ideas and forces that have sought to undermine the Jewish presence in Canada is to understand the dangers that threaten any democratic society, and thereby to guard against them.
This compelling collection of essays offers intelligent, readable accounts of an area of Canadian history about which we know too little.


  • Winner, Jewish Book Committee award for Scholarship on a Canadian Jewish Subject 1993


Superbly edited, with an equally excellent introduction, by Alan Davies, the book contains eleven essays that cover the history of Canadian anti-Semitism from pre-federation Canada to the notorious activities of the Holocaust deniers James Keegstra and Ernst Zündel.

- American Jewish Archives

“This text is scholarly but not heavy and is certainly appropriate for undergraduates and graduate students in the areas of history and religious studies as well as for those interested in particular topics in the domains of political science, sociology and social psychology.

- Canadian Ethnic Studies