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History Post-confederation (1867-)

Ten Lost Years, 1929-1939

Memories of the Canadians Who Survived the Depression

by (author) Barry Broadfoot

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Apr 1997
Post-Confederation (1867-), Poverty & Homelessness, Economic History
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1997
    List Price

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Hundreds of ordinary Canadians tell their own stories in this book. They tell them in their own words, and the impact is astonishing. As page after page of unforgettable stories rolls by, it is easy to see why this book sold 300,000 copies and why a successful stage play that ran for years was based on them.

The stories, and the 52 accompanying photographs, tell of an extraordinary time. One tells how a greedy Maritime landlord ho tried to raise a widow's rent was tarred and gravelled; another how rape by the boss was part of a waitress's job. Other stories show Saskatchewan families watching their farms turn into deserts and walking away from them; or freight-trains black with hoboes clinging to them, criss-crossing the country in search of work; or a man stealing a wreath for his own wife's funeral.

Throughout this portrait of the era before Canada had a social safety net, there are amazing stories of what Time magazine called "human tragedy and moral triumph during the hardest of times." In the end, this is an inspiring, uplifting book about bravery, one you will not forget.

About the author

Barry Broadfoot was born in Winnipeg in 1926, and died in Nanaimo, British Columbia, in 2003. After editing the University of Manitoba student newspaper, Broadfoot worked at papers in Winnipeg and Edmonton, and at the Vancouver Sun, where he was a reporter, editor and troublemaker for 17 years, starting in 1955. That ended in 1972, when Broadfoot chucked his daily job, got into his old Volkswagen with an upright typewriter, and drove across the country, collecting the stories that became his first book, Ten Lost Years. His other books include The Pioneer Years, Next Year Country and The Immigrant Years. Broadfoot received the Order of Canada in 1987.

Barry Broadfoot's profile page

Other titles by Barry Broadfoot