Occupied St John's

A Social History of a City at War, 1939-1945

By (author) Steven High
Categories: History
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Hardcover : 9780773537507, 336 pages, October 2010


In January 1941, the hulking twenty-one thousand ton troopship Edmund B. Alexander docked in St John's harbor, carrying a thousand American soldiers sent to join the thousands of Canadian troops protecting Newfoundland against attack by Germany. France had fallen, Great Britain was fighting for its survival, and Newfoundland - then a dominion of Britain - was North America's first line of defence. Although the German invasion never came, St John's found itself occupied by both Allied Canadian and American forces.


“. ..the prose is clear, penetrating and infused with powerful stories. McGill-Queen's University Press must be praised for scouring archives and private sources to put together a stunningly attractive book. It is illustrated with more than one hundred images, many published for the first time, and the best of these offer a powerful glimpse into the lives of Newfoundlanders and their occupiers. .. offers new perspectives into how the world wars were understood and experienced locally. ” Canada’s History

"The essays are rigorously researched and meticulously documented but also written in an accessible and lively style. An excellent collection comprising high-quality papers that make a fitting tribute to this ‘City at War’ as well as noteworthy additions to Canadian military, social, local, and Maritime history. " Canadian Historical Review

"This original and highly readable study of an international city at war greatly expands what we know about the home front during the Second World War as well as Canadian-Newfoundland relations. It will no doubt fascinate anyone interested in Newfoundland, the Second World War, Canadian veterans and their families. " Suzanne Morton, Department of History, McGill University

“Occupied St. John’s stands out as a particularly striking work in terms of its production values. .., elucidative analysis, and thematic scope, from a study of the speedy creation of military installations and the social responses that followed to a reass

"Occupied St. John’s demonstrates that previous arguments about the separation of the war and home fronts need to be re-evaluated, as do assumptions about how Newfoundlanders perceived their Canadian visitors and Confederation. The book is visually stunning — with more than 100 photographs — and well researched, and will appeal to both the general public and undergraduates. " Newfoundland and Labrador Studies

"This is a somewhat unique project for Canadian academics: a volume that looks like a classic coffee table book but reflects solid academic research and is aimed at both a popular and scholarly audience. " American Historical Review