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Daniel Francis

26 October 2011 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The historian and author Daniel Francis discusses his new book, Selling Canada: Three Propaganda Campaigns That Shaped the Nation (Stanton, Atkins and Dosil, 2011), with Joseph Planta.


Selling Canada: Three Propaganda Campaigns That Shaped the Nation by Daniel Francis. (Stanton, Atkins and Dosil, 2011)

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Selling Canada: Three Propaganda Campaigns That Shaped the Nation


Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

The historian and author Daniel Francis joins me again. He’s just written a fascinating, well illustrated book, Selling Canada: Three Propaganda Campaigns That Shaped the Nation. Between 1880 and the 1930s, there were three aggressive campaigns that had to ‘sell’ Canada at home and abroad. First, just after Confederation, the federal government wanted to populate the prairies and the west, and so a campaign that involved advertising ideal farming conditions, unending resources and prosperity was launched to woo immigrants. Then as World War I broke out, the government wanted to recruit volunteers to fight. Later as the war went on, a campaign was launched to instil patriotism at home convincing those at home that the sacrifice was well worth it. Posters featuring the flag, as well as others depicting heroism, and sometimes the garish enemy were utilised to keep morale up and perhaps get those at home to buy war bonds. The third campaign featured in the book is the concerted effort by government and enterprise, chiefly the Canadian Pacific Railroad to attract tourism to our national park at Banff, as well as other natural wonders. Mr. Francis in this book takes us through the rationale for such campaigns, the instruments used—and it’s fascinating to see photographs of old posters, old novel covers—and he thinks about what they’ve meant for the country then and now. It’s a thoughtful book at that. Daniel Francis is a former journalist, and is now one of the country’s leading historians. He’s written over two dozen books, including Red Light Neon, LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver, and most recently, Seeing Red: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada’s First War on Terror. He was also the editorial director of The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, one of the vital books about this province ever. This new book is published by Stanton, Atkins and Dosil. He’s a regular at Geist, and his blog, a good one I might add, is at www.knowbc.com. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, Daniel Francis; Good morning, Mr. Francis.

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