Many women who lived through the Second World War believed it heralded new status and opportunities, but scholars have argued that very little changed. How can these interpretations be reconciled? Making the Best of It examines the ways in which gender and other identities intersected to shape the experiences of female Canadians and Newfoundlanders during the war. The contributors to this thoughtful collection consider mainstream and minority populations, girls and women, and different parts of Canada and Newfoundland. They reassess topics such as women’s presence in the military and in munitions factories, and tackle entirely new subjects such as wartime girlhood in Quebec.
Collectively, these essays broaden the scope of what we know about the changes the war wrought, and draw on diverse methodologies to address wider debates about memory, historiography, and feminism.
Making the Best of It offers new insights into the impact of the Second World War and lays the foundation for a better understanding of the dramatic alterations that occurred in the lives of women and girls in Canada after the 1940s.
Students and scholars of history, women’s studies, and childhood studies will find this work compelling, as will others interested in women’s and gender history, children’s history, and the history of Canada and/or Newfoundland during the Second World War.