Happyland: A History of the “Dirty Thirties” in Saskatchewan, 1914-1937
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Happyland: A History of the “Dirty Thirties” in Saskatchewan, 1914-1937

By Curtis McManus
Free
Book Description

"Dirty Thirties" is the sobriquet commonly applied to the agricultural crisis in the drylands of southern Saskatchewan in Canada that coincided with the Great Depression, and it is generally assumed that prior to this period healthier, normal conditions prevailed. In Happyland, Curtis McManus contends that the "Dirty Thirties" actually began much earlier and were connected only peripherally to the Depression itself. McManus has mined the rarely consulted records of Rural Municipalities in Saskatchewan, as well as government documents, ministerial correspondence, local community histories, newspapers, and publications of relevant government departments, to tell a story of a quarter-century of stubborn persistence but also of absurdity, despair, social dislocation, moral corrosion, and inconsistent and often inept government policy. Thanks to McManuss rare and welcome blend of sound scholarship and living breathing prose, it is a gripping and evocative story as well.

Table of Contents
  • Open access page
  • Cover
  • Series Information
  • Title page
  • Bibliographic information
  • Dedication
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction: Oblivion
  • 1: The Descent
  • 2: “In the Thrill Zone of the Onrushing Calamity”
    • Photos: Before the “Dirty Thirties”
    • Interlude: A Collection of Absurdities
  • 3: Hard Times
  • 4: Exodus
    • Photos: During the “Dirty Thirties”
    • Interlude: Public Health
  • 5: The Wreck of ’37
  • Conclusion: Oblivion (redux)
  • Appendices
    • Tables A1 and A2: Population Losses: an overview
    • Table A3: Losses of “Resident Farmers”(south and west Saskatchewan), 1917–24
    • Table A4: Losses of General Population(south and west Saskatchewan), 1923–39
    • Table A5: Population losses(central and south-east Saskatchewan), 1929–39
    • Table A6 and A7: Population Increases: an overview
    • Table A8: Tax Arrears and Tax Sale Holdings
    • Table A9: Municipal Relief Debt and ProvincialSeed/Relief Loans
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Back Cover
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