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Social Science Jewish Studies

A Reluctant Welcome for Jewish People

Voices in Le Devoir's Editorials, 1910-1947

by (author) Pierre Anctil

translated by Tonu Onu

Les Presses de l'Université d'Ottawa/University of Ottawa Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2019
Jewish Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
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Noted historian Pierre Anctil takes a deep dive into editorials devoted to Jews and Judaism in Quebec’s daily Le Devoir in the first half of the twentieth century. Long one of the most discussed historiographical issues in Canadian Jewish history, these editorials are of great significance as they are representative of the reaction of the nationalist Francophone elite to the Jewish presence in Montreal, to German Nazi State anti-Semitism and to the Shoah.
Pierre Anctil proposes a new reading of the editorials published in the pages of Le Devoir from 1910 to 1947—from the founding of the newspaper by Henri Bourassa until the death of its second director, Georges Pelletier.
During that time, some two hundred editorials were devoted to Jews and Judaism, of which Anctil has selected sixty for inclusion in this volume. Although many of the editorials conveyed the clearly anti-Semitic views of Le Devoir’s editorialists and of Quebec society at large, a number of the editorials did express positive views of Jewish activities and accomplishments in Quebec society.
Readers will find this to be an in-depth analysis and nuanced treatment of an important aspect of Canadian Jewish history.
Published in English, translated from the original "À chacun ses juifs".

About the authors

Pierre Anctil is an award-winning author, a member of the Royal Society of Canada since 2012 and a full professor at the Department of History of the University of Ottawa, where he teaches contemporary Canadian history and Canadian Jewish history. He has written at length on the history of Montreal’s Jewish community and on the current debates on cultural pluralism in Canada. His most recent English-language titles are Jacob Isaac Segal: A Montreal Yiddish Poet and His Milieu (2017) and A Reluctant Welcome for Jewish People: Voices in Le Devoir’s Editorials, 1910–1947 (2019), both at the University of Ottawa Press.

Pierre Anctil's profile page

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Excerpt: A Reluctant Welcome for Jewish People: Voices in Le Devoir's Editorials, 1910-1947 (by (author) Pierre Anctil; translated by Tonu Onu)

Pelletier determined that it was now time to consider Canada as a country of Christian tradition that could not support the acceptance of immigrants “impossible to assimilate”, when alien to its fundamental values.

Other titles by Pierre Anctil

Other titles by Tonu Onu