Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Making the Best of It

Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the Second World War

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Making the Best of It

Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the Second World War

Many women who lived through the Second World War believed it heralded new status and opportunities, but scholars have argued that very little changed. How can these interpretations be reconciled? Making the Best of It examines the ways in which gender and other identities intersected to shape the experiences of female Canadians and Newfoundlanders during the war. The contributors to this thoughtful collection consider mainstream and minority populations, girls and women, and different parts of Canada and Newfoundland. They reassess topics such as women’s presence in the military and in munitions factories, and tackle entirely new subjects such as wartime girlhood in Quebec.
Collectively, these essays broaden the scope of what we know about the changes the war wrought, and draw on diverse methodologies to address wider debates about memory, historiography, and feminism.
Making the Best of It offers new insights into the impact of the Second World War and lays the foundation for a better understanding of the dramatic alterations that occurred in the lives of women and girls in Canada after the 1940s.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Community, Memory, and Historical Precedent / Sarah Glassford and Amy J. Shaw
Part 1: Women, Children, and the War
1 The Small Spaces of Childhood: Learning How to Feel in Wartime Atlantic Canada, 1939–45 / Barbara Lorenzkowski
2 Fostering Friendships: Canadian Girlhood and the Evacuation of British Children to Canada / Claire Halstead
3 Casualties of War: Children, Mothers, and Wartime Day Nurseries / Lisa Pasolli
4 Civic Identities in Conflict: Comparing the Wartime Experiences of English- and French-Speaking Students in Montreal / Lisa Moore
Part 2: Women and the War at Home
5 “A Token Jew Everywhere”: Canadian Jewish Women on the Home Front / Jennifer Shaw
6 Shopping to Win the War: Female Consumers and Canada’s Home Front / Graham Broad
7 Mrs. Consumer Goes to War: The Consumer Branch and Economic Policy-making / Joseph Tohill
Part 3: Women and Overseas Humanitarian Work
8 Responding to “War’s Havoc” with Peace, Love, and Compassion: The Wartime Relief Work of Mennonite Women / Marlene Epp
9 “It Keeps Our Spirits Up”: Emotional Labour and Resilience in the Canadian Red Cross Corps Overseas Detachment, 1943–47 / Sarah Glassford
Part 4: New Perspectives on Enduring Questions
10 “War Comes to Labrador”: Nursing on the Homefront / Heidi Coombs
11 “They Died so that Men May Fight”: Depictions of Second World War Military War Dead” / Sarah Hogenbirk
12 “Keep Your Mind on Your Job”: Women Workers, Beauty Culture, Heterosexuality, and Dangerous Bodies in the Wartime Industrial Workplace” / Sarah Van Vugt
Conclusion: A Terrible Price to Pay / Sarah Glassford and Amy J. Shaw
Selected Bibliography; Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press