North of America
388 pages, 6 x 9
6 b&w photos, 5 tables, 4 graphs
Release Date:01 Apr 2024
Release Date:15 Jul 2023
Release Date:15 Jul 2023
Release Date:15 Jul 2023

North of America

Canadians and the American Century, 1945–60

UBC Press

In 1941, influential US publishing magnate Henry Luce made the electrifying argument that the world was in the midst of the first great American century, believing his nation held the power and vision to lead and transform the world. What did a newly outward-looking and hegemonic United States mean for its northern neighbour?

North of America is a sharp-eyed volume providing a unique look at postwar Canada, bringing to the fore the opinions and perceptions of a broad range of Canadians – from consumers to diplomats, jazz musicians to urban planners, and a diverse cross-section in between. As they grappled with issues including constitutional reform, transit policy, national security, the arrival of television, white supremacy, and postwar domesticity, Canadians were ever mindful of the unfolding American experience and its influence.

This comprehensive work will be of great interest to scholars and students of Canadian history and international history; Canadian-American relations; and Canadian, American, and global foreign policy. It will also appeal more broadly to social scientists, policy makers, and general readers.

North of America discovers the American Century in full bloom in Canada during … the 1950s, a decade readily glossed over [as …] one of dull stability and consensus presided over by elderly grey men. The authors of this book instead see years of dynamism, change, and complexity. From the Afterword by Norman Hillmer
One of the book’s most significant contributions is simply its focus on Canada and Canadian-American relations in the 1940s and 1950s, a subject that has received relatively little attention from historians and other scholars. Robin Gendron, Department of History, Nipissing University

Asa McKercher is an assistant professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada. His publications include Canada and the World Since 1867 and Canada and Camelot: Canadian-American Relations in the Kennedy Era. Michael D. Stevenson is a professor of history at Lakehead University. He is the author of Canada’s Greatest Wartime Muddle: National Selective Service and the Mobilization of Human Resources in Canada during World War II and editor of the 1957–58 volumes of Documents on Canadian External Relations.

Contributors: Stephen Azzi, P.E. Bryden, Susan Colbourn, François-Olivier Dorais, Jonathan English, Eric Fillion, Norman Hillmer, Emily LeDuc, Bettina Liverant, Daniel Poitras, Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jennifer Tunnicliffe, David Webster

Foreword / Robert Bothwell and John English

Introduction: Canada and Canadians in the Shadow of the American Century / Asa McKercher and Michael D. Stevenson

Part 1: North America in a Cold War World

1 “A Natural Development”: Canada and Non-Alignment in the Age of Eisenhower / David Webster

2 Cheers to the Canadian Wheat Surplus! Lester Pearson’s Visit to the Soviet Union and the West’s Détente Dilemma / Susan Colbourn

3 Living Dangerously: Canadian National Security Policy and the Nuclear Revolution / Timothy Andrews Sayle

4 From Normandy to NORAD: Canada and the North Atlantic Triangle in the Age of Eisenhower / Asa McKercher and Michael D. Stevenson

Part 2: Politics and Identity in Postwar North America

5 An Emerging Constitutional Culture in Canada’s Postwar Moment / P.E. Bryden

6 Rethinking Postwar Domesticity: The Canadian Household in the 1950s / Bettina Liverant

7 Racial Discrimination in “Uncle Tom’s Town”: Media and the Americanization of Racism in Dresden, 1948–56 / Jennifer Tunnicliffe

8 Between Distrust and Acceptance: The Influence of the United States on Postwar Quebec / François-Olivier Dorais and Daniel Poitras

Part 3: Cultural Conundrums in an Age of Prosperity

9 Living the Good Life? Canadians and the Paradox of American Prosperity / Stephen Azzi

10 Make Room for (Canadian) TV: Print Media Cover the Arrival of Television in the Shadow of American Cultural Imperialism, 1930–52 / Emily LeDuc

11 Getting Off the Highway: Frederick Gardiner and Toronto’s Transit Policy in the Age of the Interstate Highway, 1954–63 / Jonathan English

12 Talking Jazz at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, 1956–58 / Eric Fillion

Afterword / Norman Hillmer

List of Contributors; Index

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