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History Post-confederation (1867-)

The Defining Decade

Identity, Politics, and the Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s

by (author) Harold Troper

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2010
Post-Confederation (1867-), Jewish, History
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    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
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    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
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The 1960s witnessed a radical transformation in the Canadian Jewish community. The erosion of longstanding barriers of anti-Semitism resulted in increased access for Jews to the economic, political, and social Canadian mainstream. Arguing paradoxically that even as Canada became more accepting, Canadian Jews became more focused on Jewish identity, The Defining Decade examines how the 1960s redefined what it meant to be a Canadian Jew and a Jewish Canadian.

Domestic events such as the Quiet Revolution, the eruption of Neo-Nazi activity, the election of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, and the promise of multiculturalism combined with international affairs such as the Six Day War, Arab rejectionism with regards to Israel, and the explosion of Soviet Jewish activisim to radically reshape Canadian Jewish priorities. In tracing the rapid changes of this tumultuous decade, Harold Troper draws upon a wealth of historical documentation, including more than eighty interviews, to demonstrate that the expression of Canadian Jewishness was an increasingly public - and political - commitment.

About the author

Harold Troper is professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. The co-author of None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews (with Irving Abella), his most recent book is The Defining Decade: Identity, Politics, and the Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s.

Harold Troper's profile page


  • Winner, Helen & Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Scholarship from the Koffler Centre of the Arts

Editorial Reviews

‘The Defining Decade is a thoroughly researched, well written account of Canadian Jewish community's emergence from the shadows into daylight… The author's obvious scholarship is embellished with incisive observations, telling statistics, crisp anecdotes and occasional splashes of humour. This book should appeal to readers who have a hearty interest in Canadian and Toronto Jewish history.’

The Canadian Jewish News, March 22, 2012

‘This is no dry academic tome and, as in his previous books, Troper is a fine raconteur. The book caps extensive research into previously untold stories of individuals and institutions that populated the Jewish community’s landscape in the 1960s and is replete with colourful anecdotes and quotes from literary and news publications of the time… This volume should appeal especially to the current generation of Jewish leaders and activists, who know little of how what they now take for granted came about.’

Shira Herzog: <em>Literary Review of Canada, May 2011</em>

Other titles by Harold Troper