We Hear the Whistle Call: The Second World War in Glace Bay, Cape Breton

Title: We Hear the Whistle Call: The Second World War in Glace Bay, Cape Breton
Authors: MacGillivray, Shannon A.
Date: 2012
Abstract: Many historians have presented the narrative of Canada’s Second World War experience as a “good” war. Individuals and communities came together in patriotism and a common purpose to furnish the national war effort with military manpower, labour, financial contributions, and voluntary efforts. As the dark years of the Great Depression gave way to unprecedented levels of industrial and economic growth, falling unemployment rates, increased urbanization, and a wealth of social programs, Canada’s future was bright. However, this optimistic picture is not representative of Canada as a whole. Some regions fared better than others, and industrial Cape Breton was one of those that benefited the least from the opportunities presented by the war. Glace Bay, Cape Breton’s largest mining town and long-time hotbed of industrial strife and labour radicalism, serves as an ideal case study of the region’s largely unprofitable and unchanging wartime experience. Long plagued by poverty, poor living conditions, and underdeveloped industry, and desperately seeking to break free of its destitution, Glace Bay tried and failed to take advantage of wartime opportunities for industrial diversification and local improvement.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23256
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