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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Give Me Shelter

The Failure of Canada’s Cold War Civil Defence

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Give Me Shelter

The Failure of Canada’s Cold War Civil Defence

How could you and your family survive a nuclear war? From 1945 onwards, the Canadian government developed civil defence plans and encouraged citizens to join local survival corps. By the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil defence program was widely mocked, and the public was still vastly unprepared for nuclear war. An exposé of the challenges of educating the public on the threat of nuclear annihilation, Give Me Shelter provides a well-grounded explanation of why Canada’s civil defence strategy ultimately failed. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Canada’s Cold War home front.


Table of Contents

Introduction

1 From World War to Cold War, 1945-50

2 The Korean War and the Trouble with Civil Defence, 1950-53

3 Publicizing Armageddon: Responsible Citizenship and Civil Defence, 1948-54

4 Evacuation and Celebration, 1954-56

5 Emergency Measures, 1957-59

6 The Survival Army, 1959-62

7 The Path to a Shelter Program, 1949-59

8 Irresponsible Citizens, 1959-62

9 Cuba, Confusion, and Retreat, 1962-68

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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