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The Great Depression: 1929-1939
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The Great Depression: 1929-1939

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  223 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Over 1.5 million Canadians were on relief, one in five was a public dependant, and 70,000 young men travelled like hoboes. Ordinary citizens were rioting in the streets, but their demonstrations met with indifference, and dissidents were jailed. Canada emerged from the Great Depression a different nation.

The most searing decade in Canada's history began with the stock mark
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 9th 2001 by Anchor Canada (first published 1990)
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Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in how the Depression affected the country up the 49th parallel north
Pierre Berton was a prolific Canadian author of popular history, authoring over 50 books on subjects as diverse as the Klondike Gold Rush, the War of 1812 and the construction of the national railway. He was also a popular television personality - having conducted the only surviving on-camera interview with Bruce Lee in 1971 and discussed his 40-year long recreational cannabis usage shortly before his death in 2004, showing Canadians how to roll a true joint. Certainly a man of many talents and ...more
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History buffs
It is astonishing to think how easily and enthusiastically a man like King could be hoodwinked by Hitler (1937). It is likewise astonishing that men like Mitch Hepburn, George McCullogh, RB Bennet, William Aberhart and many others have never been brought before us as the villains they really were – men who did not believe in democracy, human rights or much at all outside of their own personal fiscal and political gain. Why are we never taught this dark part of our democratic past? You simply can ...more
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One day Paul Gross should direct a movie about Mackenzie King's mom and call it Ghost Mom.

The school system in Newfoundland did a terrible job of educating me about Canadian history. I suspect this is also true in other provinces, Canadians are in general ignorant to our past. And it's a shame because it's riveting stuff.

This is my third Pierre Berton book and it won't be my last. The way he captures history in an exciting, chronological narrative makes a subject many might view as boring anyt
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've often said it will take me the rest of my life to get over being the child of a child of the depression. My parents' Depression era experiences have reverberated through the generations. Now I understand what they and their parents went through. This book should be required high school reading.
Erin Mclea
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I grew up hearing my Grandmother speak of her experiences on her farm during the great depression, but reading this was eye-opening to how horrific the situation was. Grab some Kleenex if you choose to read this book!
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a good book to read but a depressing one. If you want to see how cruel and evil Canadians were treated by their governments during the Dirty Thirties this book will break your heart. People today say they often wish Trudeau was their POTUS Instead of Trump. Well, I am willing to be Canadians would have traded McKenzie King and R B Bennett for Roosevelt in a flash. Both these men were immensely wealthy. They were part of the Anglo elite in Ontario. They cared nothing for the people and e ...more
Dec 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Canadians
There was a lot of information here I didn't that I think about it, I didn't really learn much about the Great Depression in school. One would think a child of my generation should've been taught about a decade that affected the lives of our grandparents so deeply.

From this and other books I've read I get the impression that it was worse here in Canada than it was in the US due to governmental bungling. Berton's political slant shines through here, as it does in all his books, for be
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm a huge fan of Berton, not only for his Canadian history books, but the fact that he was a great Canadian who is too forgotten today. Unlike many of his books though, The Great Depression is a bit slanted. Berton lived through that decade as a young person, and his personal viewpoint seems to enter into things a bit too often. I prefer Barry Broadfoot's Ten Lost Years when it comes to a Canadian version of the Depression.
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Figured I had to read SOME Pierre Berton.
Prepared for drudgery I was pleasantly surprised to find a dynamic writer worth the acclaim...
I think I was thinking historians were dry and objective... He is passionate and scathing
Heather Clitheroe
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
Very heavy on the politics and political analysis. I was hoping for more of a social history. You do get that, but not nearly enough. Still, a very compelling history of the Depression, and quite readable.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
There many similarities to the process that is happening today but not quite as dramatic on a national level.
Cynthia L'Hirondelle
A fast and compelling read about the Great Depression in Canada. Berton's outrage makes this history anything but dry.
Fiona Hearns
it was really interesting and i leart alot from this text
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
we are not that far off from returning to this trying era. R.B. Bennett should be roasting in hell.
Jun 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for books on the Depression, and this one is exceptionally good. It's particularly good on labor organizing and the Mackenzie King prime ministership.
Jun 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Fairly good, old-fashioned narrative history written with heart.
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another incredible book by Berton. His explanation & detail of the Great Depression within Canada are incredible. There is no one who can manage to bring Canadian history alive like Berton can. There were moments in this book I was completely inthralled; learning about the history of Hobo's in Canada, riding the rails, the Trek-on-Ottawa and the persecution of supposed "Communists" in Canada was eye opening about a nation I always assumed was so welcoming .

Berton also reveals Canada's Anti-
Stephen Hergest
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Growing up, it seemed to me that the quintessential Canadian literature was life on the Prairies during the "Dirty Thirties". I remember reading W.O. Mitchell's "Jake and the Kid" stories in school, and watching The Drylanders on television. Add to that a dose of American Depression history, movies, and literature, and I felt I didn't need to dig any deeper. Berton proves otherwise, showing what a pivotal time it was in Canadian history.

Prime Ministers King and Bennett, strong believers in bala

G Down
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Burton is one of my favourite authors, so there's almost nothing of his I haven't read. I think I'd held off reading this one because a decade of economic depression didn't sound nearly as interesting as war, or even political analysis. However, as with his other books, I gained significant insights into the forces that shaped my country today. It was well worth it. My only complaint, if any, was that I believe he could have communicated the same history and perspectives more succinctly.
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I was lent this book to read and trudged through it. I found it very dry, almost like a polotics text book but in hind sight I'm so glad I read it. I learned lots about how Canadians lived in the great depression and could only think of my grandparents and how they were affected by it. The last part of the book I was not enjoying it anymore but finished it as I wanted to know how it ended.
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Jul 30, 2013
Steve Hoop
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Nov 14, 2015
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Dave Hazzan
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Daniel Kukwa
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Another engrossing, detailed, and epic overview of Canada's past.
Andrew Mackinnon
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Feb 18, 2014
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From narrative histories and popular culture, to picture and coffee table books to anthologies, to stories for children to readable, historical works for youth, many of his books are now Canadian classics.

Born in 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the