Sunday, 30 May 2010

Book ~ "Sailors, Slackers, and Blind Pigs : Halifax at War" (2002) Stephen Kimber

From Amazon ~ It wasn't until after the Allies' victory in Europe that Halifax, North America's most strategic port during World War II, experienced destruction at the hands of the military. As victory rang out, the city's shops, restaurants, offices, and even the brewery were smashed and looted by thousands of sailors and many civilians in the V-E Day riots. Halifax journalist and author Stephen Kimber illuminates this violent episode--and the previous six years filled with German U-boats, housing shortages, rationing, archaic liquor laws, and line-ups around the block for the local brothel--in a powerful narrative told through the voices of those who actually lived through it. Using historical documents and personal recollections, Kimber's book takes us inside the minds of, among others, the Canadian commander of the Allies' Atlantic fleet, a young English boy sent to Canada by his parents, a young woman who moved from Montreal to "dance every night until dawn," and an enterprising young reporter. Their hopes, experiences, and troubles shed light on Canada's war effort.

I'm from Nova Scotia yet I hadn't heard about the riots of 1945 in Halifax.

This is an excellent book about impact of World War II on Halifax and all that a small city in Eastern Canada contributed to the war.

I liked that it was also written from the perspective of people who were affected by it ... Harold the five-year-old who was sent to Halifax from England to protect him from the war, Dorothy who was one of the first female welders in Canada but lost her job when the men started coming home again, Eric the reporter who covered the war for the newspapers, etc.

BTW, a "blind pig" is an establishment that that illegally sells booze.

1 comment:

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

It certainly sounds like an interesting book. I much prefer to read things from the perpective of people who were actually there.