A Reluctant Welcome for Jewish People

A Reluctant Welcome for Jewish People

Voices in Le Devoir's Editorials, 1910-1947

By Pierre Anctil

360 Pages · 9x6 · May 14 2019

Paper ISBN: 9780776627953

Availability: Out of stock

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39.95 $ CA


Le Devoir’s position with respect to the Montreal Jewish community and Judaism more broadly has been one of the most discussed historiographical issues in Canadian Jewish history.

Indeed, the editorials published by Le Devoir are of great historiographical significance, as they are representative of the reaction of the nationalist Francophone elite to the Jewish presence in Montreal, to German Nazi State anti-Semitism and to the Shoah. A number of works written by English-speaking authors describe Le Devoir as a typical example of French Canada’s ideological stance of defensiveness during the 1930s and its inclination to adopt a hostile position towards Jews. However, until now, no serious study has been carried out to support or refute this thesis.

Pierre Anctil proposes a new reading of the editorials published in the pages of Le Devoir from 1910 to 1947 – from the founding of the newspaper by Henri Bourassa until the death of its second director, Georges Pelletier. During that time, approximately 200 editorials – or two percent of the total number of editorials – were devoted to Jews and Judaism. Anctil selected 60 of these for inclusion in this book and provides insightful commentary on each one. 

From this collection of editorials and accompanying in-depth analysis, it is finally possible to obtain a clearer idea of what anti-Semitism looked like in Le Devoir and by extension in Quebec society.

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