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August 04 , 2010

Sailors, Slackers, and Blind Pigs

Halifax at War


The untold story of how war transformed the city of Halifax.
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Loyalists and Layabouts

Marking the 225th anniversary of loyalist landings in Canada, this important and comprehensive history is essential reading on the shaping of our country. The few hundred loyalists who gathered at Roubalet’s Tavern in New York on the night of Saturday, November 16, 1782, shared a vision of the future intended to sustain them through the…

Stephen Kimber recreates life in Halifax during the Second World War, a city transformed by the influx of military and civilian personnel serving the war effort. Poorly governed and corrupt, the city erupted at the end of the war in Europe in the infamous V-E Day riots of May 1945.

Halifax was the only Canadian city directly caught up in the drama, danger, death, and disaster of our last “good” war. Through the eyes and experiences of the people who lived it – sailors, slackers (civilians), prohibitionists, spies, profiteers, and just plain local folk – Stephen Kimber brings this extraordinary period of history to life. From an initial outpouring of imperial patriotism and local paternalism to the final Bacchanalian orgy of booze, looting, dancing in the streets, public fornication and general mayhem, this is the true, untold story of how a city changed a war, and a war changed a city.

Drawing on primary sources ranging from local government and military archives to personal diaries, Kimber recreates life in Halifax during the Second World War so convincingly that readers will feel that they have journeyed back in time to meet some of the most colourful characters ever encountered in a history book.

From the Hardcover edition.
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