Death in the Peaceable Kingdom: Canadian History since 1867 through Murder, Execution, Assassination, and Suicide

Death in the Peaceable Kingdom: Canadian History since 1867 through Murder, Execution, Assassination, and Suicide

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Dimitry Anastakis
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2015
World Rights
336 Pages
ISBN 9781442606364
Published May 2015
ISBN 9781442634558
Published May 2015
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442606388
Published May 2015
Full purchase $34.95
Teaching Materials

Death in the Peaceable Kingdom is an intelligent, innovative response to the incorrect assumption that Canadian history is dry and uninspiring. Using the "hooks" of murder, execution, assassination, and suicide, Dimitry Anastakis introduces readers to the full scope of post-Confederation Canadian history.

Beginning with the assassination of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Anastakis recounts the deaths of famous Canadians such as Louis Riel, Tom Thomson, and Pierre Laporte. He also introduces lesser-known events such as the execution of shell-shocked deserter Pte. Harold Carter during the First World War and the suicide of suspected communist Herbert Norman in Cairo during the Cold War. The book concludes with recent Canadian deaths including the suicides of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons as a result of cyberbullying.

Complementing the chapters are short vignettes—"Murderous Moments" and "Tragic Tales"—that point to broader themes and issues. The book also contains a number of "Active History" exercises such as activities, assignments, and primary document analyses. A timeline, 24 images, and further reading suggestions are included.

Dimitry Anastakis teaches Canadian history at Trent University. He has published seven monographs and collections, including Smart Globalization: The Canadian Business and Economic History Experience (2014) and the prize-winning Autonomous State: The Struggle for a Canadian Car Industry from OPEC to Free Trade (2013).
List of Illustrations
Timeline of Canadian History

Part One: Our Violent, Bloody Confederation
1. Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Assassinated, Ottawa, 1868: Terror and Invasion in Confederation-Era Canada
Murderous Moment: Patrick James Whelan, Executed, Ottawa, 1869
2. Thomas Scott, Executed or Murdered? Fort Garry, Winnipeg, 1870: The Red River Resistance and the Politics of Westward Expansion
Murderous Moment: Elizabeth Workman, Executed, Sarnia, Ontario, 1873
3. George Brown, Assassinated, Toronto, 1880: Dreams of an Emerging Canada
4. Louis Riel, Executed, Regina, 1885: Open Rebellion and the Fate of the Canadian West
Tragic Tales: The Frog Lake Massacre and the Execution of Eight First Nations Warriors, Fort Battleford, Present-Day Saskatchewan, 1885
Murderous Moment: Killing the French Fact Outside of Quebec—Ending Separate (French) Schooling in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario, 1871-1912

Part Two: A Nation Forged in Blood?
Murderous Moment: William C. Hopkinson, Immigration Officer and Secret Agent, Murdered, Vancouver, 1914
5. Private Harold Carter, Executed, France, 1917: The Tragedy and Heroism of the First World War, 1914-18
Tragic Tales: Collateral Damages—The Burning of Parliament Hill's Centre Block (1916) and the Halifax Explosion (1917)
6. Four Rioters Killed by the Canadian Military, Quebec City, Easter 1918: Conscription and the Politics of the Great War at Home
7. Michael Sokolowiski and Steven Skezerbanovicz, Murdered, Winnipeg, 1919: Capital and Labour Collide in Industrializing Canada
Murderous Moment: Theatre Impresario Ambrose Small, Murdered? Toronto, 1919
8. Tom Thomson, Murdered? Canoe Lake, Ontario, 1917: Art, Nationalism, and Americanization in the Interwar Period
Murderous Moment: William Lyon Mackenzie King Commits Regicide by (Mostly) Killing the British Constitutional Connection to Canada, 1920s
9. Filumena Lassandro, Executed, Edmonton, 1923: Women, the Roaring Twenties, and the Law
Murderous Moment: Qallanaaq (White Man) Richard Janes, Killed by Inuit Hunters, Baffin Island, 1920
Murderous Moment: Coalminer William Davis, Killed by Company Police, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, 1925
10. Peter Markunas, Nick Nargan, and Julian Gryshko, Murdered, Saskatchewan, 1931: Labour, the Great Depression, Regional Alienation, and State Response
Tragic Tales: Two Killed as Police and Mounties Break up the On-to-Ottawa Trek, Regina, Dominion Day (July 1), 1935
11. Eleven Canadian Soldiers, Murdered by the Nazis, France, 1944: Canada's War?

Part Three: Postwar Canada—Peaceable, Prosperous, Yet Deadly
Murderous Moment: John Dick, Murdered, Hamilton, 1946
12. Death by Car: 2,921 Canadians Killed in Motor Vehicle Accidents, 1953: Cars, Consumption, and Postwar Canadian Society
Murderous Moment: King Car Kills the Street Railway in Canada, ca. 1955
13. Herbert Norman, Suicide, Cairo, Egypt, 1957: Cold War Diplomacy, Repression, and Relations with the United States
Murderous Moment: Marguerite "Madame le Corbeau" Pitre, Conspirator in the 1949 Canadian Pacific Flight 108 Bombing, Last Woman Executed in Canada, Montreal, 1953
14. Ronald Turpin and Arthur Lucas, Executed, Toronto, 1962: The Death Penalty, Diefenbaker, Pearson, and Social Change in Postwar Canada
Tragic Tales: "To Kill the Indian in the Child"—Charlie Wenjack, Died in 1966 as Did over 3,000 Aboriginal Children in Indian Residential Schools, 1870s-1990s
15. Pierre Laporte, Assassinated, Montreal, October 1970: Quebec, the Quiet Revolution, and the FLQ
Murderous Moment: Victims, Police, Politicians, and Terrorists: What Happened After the October Crisis?
16. Rochdale College's Cindy Lei Commits Suicide, Toronto, 1975: The Counterculture and the Sixties Revolutionary Moment in Canada
Murderous Moment: Paul Joseph Chartier, Killed While Attempting to Blow up the House of Commons, 1966
17. Three Employees of the Quebec National Assembly, Murdered, Quebec City, 1984: The Constitutional Wars Turn Deadly
18. "Leap of Faith": Brian Mulroney (and Ronald Reagan) Kill the National Policy, 1989: Trade Policy and Postwar Economic Development
Murderous Moment: Shidane Arone, Murdered by Canadian Troops, Somalia, 1993
19. Fourteen Quebec Women, Murdered, Montreal, December 6, 1989: Women in Postwar Canada and Violence
Tragic Tales: Tracy Latimer, "Mercy Killing," Saskatchewan, 1993
20. Dudley George, Murdered, Ipperwash, Ontario, 1995: Aboriginal Rights and Resistance in Postwar Canada
Tragic Tales: Sue Rodriguez, Death by Assisted Suicide, British Columbia, 1994
21. The 329 People on Air India Flight 182, Murdered over the Atlantic Ocean, 1985: Challenges to Immigration and Multiculturalism in an Age of Terror
Tragic Tales: Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons, Suicide, 2012 and 2013

Conclusion: Canada, a Nation of Hope
Anastakis breathes new life into Canadian history in this innovative volume. Tragedy, conflict, and death lurk throughout Canada's past in ways that may surprise readers. Through captivating narratives of political assassinations, murders, and suicides, Anastakis finds exciting new ways to think about Canada and its history. This highly readable history will draw students into the dark corners of the past and make connections to primary themes of the development of Canada in the years after Confederation.

Sean Kheraj, York University

Death in the Peaceable Kingdom is an engaging, entertaining, and enlightening book. Learning Canadian history through murder, suicide, and even mass death is gruesome but fun. This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to learn more about Canada's history.

James Muir, University of Alberta

Anastakis aptly uses the conceits of violence and death to reveal the dark underside of Canadian history. Readers will learn about the socioeconomic realities of all classes and ethnicities in post-Confederation Canada. Extremely well done!

Caroline-Isabelle Caron, Queen's University

Our country's past is many things, but never has it been boring. And neither is this book.

Tim Cook, Canada's History

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Post-Confederation Canadian History (294 KB)
Featuring Death in the Peaceable Kingdom

Post-Confederation Canadian History (423 KB)
Featuring Death in the Peaceable Kingdom and A Country Nourished on Self-Doubt (423 KB)