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Canada and the End of the Imperial Dream: Beverley Baxter's Reports from London through War and Peace, 1936-1960



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Oxford University Press
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This is the edition with a publication date of 5/30/2013.
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Decades after political independence, Britain's cultural influence on the Canadian population remained strong. Beverly Baxter, a Canadian-born journalist and British politician, reinforced this imperial connection through his semi-monthly column in Maclean's magazine called, simply, London Letters. Six hundred of these widely read and deeply influential articles were published from 1936 to 1960, becoming the most important Canadian source of information on British politics, culture, and society of their time.

More than the story of Baxter himself, this stylishly written account provides new insights into a transformative era in Canadian history. As the British Empire disintegrated and a nationalistic Canada emerged on the world stage, Baxter maintained an imperial vision. His vivid and opinionated column reported on crucial international events-from the victory over Germany in 1945 to the Suez crisis-amidst a backdrop of rising global superpowers.

Accompanied by rare archival images, Canada and the End of the Imperial Dream is a history of politics, war, imperial and international relations, culture, and the personalities that moved the world in the troubled middle years of the twentieth century.

Author Biography

Neville Thompson is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Western Ontario, where he taught modern British and European history. He was previously a faculty member at Huron University College and McMaster University. A specialist in the political, diplomatic, and imperial history of modern Britain, he is the author of Earl Bathurst and the British Empire, Wellington after Waterloo, and The Anti-Appeasers.

Table of Contents

1. Overture: An Imperial Citizen Goes Home
2. The British Imperial Standard
3. Pax Umbrellica
4. Who Lives if England Dies?
5. Churchill's War at Westminster
6. Hoping for a Priceless Victory
7. Fighting the New Jerusalem
8. No Glad Confident Morning
9. Suez: The Last Hinge of Empire
10. Envoi: There'll Always Be an England

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