Winner of the Canadian Historical Association John A. Macdonald Prize
Featured in The Literary Review of Canada 100: Canada’s Most Important Books
[This] is a story best summed up in the words of an anonymous senior Canadian official who, in the midst of a rambling, off-the-record discussion with journalists in 1945, was asked how many Jews would be allowed into Canada after the war … ‘None,’ he said, ‘is too many.’
From the Preface
One of the most significant studies of Canadian history ever written, None Is Too Many conclusively lays to rest the comfortable notion that Canada has always been an accepting and welcoming society. Detailing the country’s refusal to offer aid, let alone sanctuary, to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution between 1933 and 1948, it is an immensely bleak and discomfiting story – and one that was largely unknown before the book’s publication.
Irving Abella and Harold Troper’s retelling of this episode is a harrowing read not easily forgotten: its power is such that, ‘a manuscript copy helped convince Ron Atkey, Minister of Employment and Immigration in Joe Clark’s government, to grant 50,000 “boat people” asylum in Canada in 1979, during the Southeast Asian refugee crisis’ (Robin Roger, The Literary Review of Canada). None Is Too Many will undoubtedly continue to serve as a potent reminder of the fragility of tolerance, even in a country where it is held as one of our highest values.
Irving Abella is the J. Richard Shiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry and a professor in the Department of History at York University.
Harold Troper is professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. The co-author of None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews (with Irving Abella), his most recent book is The Defining Decade: Identity, Politics, and the Canadian Jewish Community in the 1960s.
Canada's Jews is an account of this remarkable story as told by one of the leading authors and historians on the Jewish legacy in Canada. Drawing on his previous work on the subject, Gerald Tulchinsky illuminates the struggle against anti-Semitism and the search for a livelihood amongst the Jewish community. He demonstrates that, far from being a fragment of the Old World, the Canadian Jewry grew from a tiny group of transplanted Europeans to a fully articulated, diversified, and dynamic national group that defined itself as Canadian while expressing itself in the varied political and social contexts of the Dominion.
Canada's Jews covers the 240-year period from the beginnings of the Jewish community in the 1760s to the present day, illuminating the golden chain of Jewish tradition, religion, language, economy, and history as established and renewed in the northern lands. With important points about labour, immigration, and anti-Semitism, it is a timely book that offers sober observations about the Jewish experience and its relation to Canadian history.
Domestic events such as the Quiet Revolution, the eruption of Neo-Nazi activity, the election of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, and the promise of multiculturalism combined with international affairs such as the Six Day War, Arab rejectionism with regards to Israel, and the explosion of Soviet Jewish activisim to radically reshape Canadian Jewish priorities. In tracing the rapid changes of this tumultuous decade, Harold Troper draws upon a wealth of historical documentation, including more than eighty interviews, to demonstrate that the expression of Canadian Jewishness was an increasingly public - and political - commitment.
Written by two noted historians of Canadian Jewish history, Richard Menkis and Harold Troper, More than Just Games brings to life the collision of politics, patriotism, and the passion of sport on the eve of the Second World War.