Hundreds of ordinary Canadians tell their own stories in this book. They tell them in their own words, and the impact is astonishing. As page after page of unforgettable stories rolls by, it is easy to see why this book sold 300,000 copies and why a successful stage play that ran for years was based on them.
The stories, and the 52 accompanying photographs, tell of an extraordinary time. One tells how a greedy Maritime landlord ho tried to raise a widow's rent was tarred and gravelled; another how rape by the boss was part of a waitress's job. Other stories show Saskatchewan families watching their farms turn into deserts and walking away from them; or freight-trains black with hoboes clinging to them, criss-crossing the country in search of work; or a man stealing a wreath for his own wife's funeral.
Throughout this portrait of the era before Canada had a social safety net, there are amazing stories of what Time magazine called "human tragedy and moral triumph during the hardest of times." In the end, this is an inspiring, uplifting book about bravery, one you will not forget.
About Barry Broadfoot
Barry Broadfoot, born in Winnipeg in 1926, was a child of the Depression. In 1972 he quit his job as Books Editor with the Vancouver Sun to travel the country with a tape recorder. His oral history books — Ten Lost Years;Six War Years; and The Pioneer Years, among others — brought Canada’s past to vivid life. By talking into Broadfoot’s tape recorder in kitchens, bars and coffee shops across the country, ordinary Canadians were able to tell their stories of how the great tides of history had affected their lives. It was history told in the first person by bank tellers, farmers, waitresses, and poor bloody infantrymen and it was powerful stuff. His readers responded, making his books into huge best-sellers. Ten Lost Years went on to sell well over 300,000.
Broadfoot was the recipient of numerous awards and honours including the Order of Canada, an honorary degree from the University of Manitoba, and the B.C. Lifetime Achievement Award.