Allied Power: Mobilizing Hydro-electricity during Canada's Second World War

Allied Power: Mobilizing Hydro-electricity during Canada's Second World War

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By Matthew Evenden
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
290 Pages 25 Images
ISBN 9781442626256
Published Jun 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $32.95    $24.71
ISBN 9781442648500
Published Jun 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $75.00    $56.25
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442617124
Published Jul 2015
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $32.95

Canada emerged from the Second World War as a hydro-electric superpower. Only the United States generated more hydro power than Canada and only Norway generated more per capita. Allied Power is about how this came to be: the mobilization of Canadian hydro-electricity during the war and the impact of that wartime expansion on Canada’s power systems, rivers, and politics.

Matthew Evenden argues that the wartime power crisis facilitated an unprecedented expansion of state control over hydro-electric development, boosting the country’s generating capacity and making an important material contribution to the Allied war effort at the same time as it exacerbated regional disparities, transformed rivers through dam construction, and changed public attitudes to electricity though power conservation programs.

An important contribution to the political, environmental, and economic history of wartime Canada, Allied Power is an innovative examination of a little-known aspect of Canada’s Second World War experience.

Matthew Evenden is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia.

1. Introduction

2. Seeking Control

3. C’est la Guerre

4. Keepers of the Light

5. Wartime Conservation

6. The Prairie Ruhr

7. Wringing the Last Kilowatt

8. Conclusion

“Allied Power firmly establishes Matthew Evenden as a premier historian of the Canadian environment. The book achieves what few works of Canadian history can muster: nearly Canada-wide geographic coverage that nevertheless accounts for nuanced regional and provincial variation. It has much to teach about Canadian wartime hydroelectric development and its consequences for human and natural communities.”

David Massell, Department of History, University of Vermont

“An original and ambitious book, Allied Power tackles broad and important themes in an engaging and accessible fashion. It augments our understanding of the shared commitment by business and government to harnessing Canadian natural resources for the war effort and explains in detail the extraordinary complexity of developing power generation and distribution facilities on a scale capable of meeting skyrocketing demand.”

Keith Fleming, Department of History, Western University

Allied Power is a path-defining study of the energy sources for modern warfare and the environmental costs of ‘clean power,’ by one of Canada’s leading historical geographers.  Uniting environmental history, warfare history, and economic development studies, Matthew Evenden opens a new perspective on the global reach of the Second World War.”

Richard P. Tucker, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan

‘Eminently readable, engaging, and well supported with ample maps and images, this book will be useful not only for scholars of the Canadian home front and wartime mobilization, but also for those looking at other countries in the context of resource development during the Second World War.’

Daniel Macfarlane, H-Environment, September 2015