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It’s the 1930s. In Montreal, tensions are running high. French vs. English. Jew vs. Christian. Have vs. have-not. The city is swirling with unrest. From Outremont to St. Urbain Street, people are struggling to lift off the yoke of strife and despair caused by the most devastating economic depression the world has ever experienced. For young, single men with no jobs, the only option is to ride the rails. Perhaps go to Vancouver. Or maybe Spain, to fight the fascists. What have they got to lose?
That’s the question Terrence Rundle West asks in his latest book, Not In My Father’s Footsteps.
Although Canada remained neutral during this conflict, more than 1,200 Canadian soldiers fought to defend the reform-minded Spanish Republic against Franco’s fascists. In fact, the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, or "Mac-Paps," comprised the second largest foreign contingent in Spain, yet its members were shunned on their return to Canada. Forgotten, for the most part, until now.
According to Bill Waiser, of the University of Saskatchewan, "West tells this story with a realism that blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction."
"With compelling characters located convincingly in their historical context," affirms George Emery of the University of Western Ontario, "this fine book delivers a rich and moving read."

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