Canada's Holy Grail
Lord Stanley's Political Motivation to Donate the Stanley Cup
Table of contents
In 1892, Lord Frederick Arthur Stanley donated the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup – later known as the Stanley Cup – to crown the first Canadian hockey champions.
Canada’s Holy Grail documents Lord Stanley’s personal politics, his desire to affect Canadian nationality and unity, and the larger transformations in Anglo-liberal political thought at the time. This book posits that the Stanley Cup fit directly within Anglo-American traditions of using sport to promote ideas of the national, and the donation of the cup occurred at a moment in history when Canadian nationalists needed identifying symbols. Jordan B. Goldstein asserts that only with a transformation in Anglo-liberal thought could the state legitimately act through culture to affect national identity.
Drawing on primary source documentation from Lord Stanley’s archives, as well as statements by politicians and hockey enthusiasts, Canada’s Holy Grail integrates political thought into the realm of sport history through the discussion of a championship trophy that still stands as one of the most well-known and recognized Canadian national symbols.
"Goldstein’s research is fascinating, and his book allows readers to understand a unique part of Canada’s history and identity. It also tells us how a trophy donated by a Governor General became an enduring symbol of the country. Canada’s Holy Grail is well suited for anyone who loves hockey, Canadian history, and Canadian political thought."- Rob Alexander