Monday, March 25, 2024

Book Notes: Roberts on Boosters and Barkers

I've been busy with other things and can't keep up with my reading at all. So starting today, here come a few book notes: books that may remain a little while longer on my to-read pile, but may get a longer look if/when...

My friends at UBC Press were kind enough to send me a copy of Boosters and Barkers: Financing Canada's Involvement in the First World War, just coming out.

With the recent income tax histories, we know about the arrival of one means of potentially financing Canada's huge commitments to the First World War.  Roberts focusses on another:  the Victory Bond, which eventually funded almost third of Canada's total war costs. So it's a financial history? 

Well, as Roberts points out, raising that much money required a public willing to place its savings at the government's disposal.  So the selling of the Victory Bond from 1915 on should be a significant indicator of public attitudes to and commitment to the war effort.  Roberts looks at the financial planner who bet the war effort to their ability to get war bonds sold, but also on the bond marketers  -- and the bond buyers.   

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