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The years 1940–46 have come to be viewed as a “golden age” for popular (and what are conventionally considered lowbrow) English Canadian periodicals. In December 1940, in response to the perceived need to protect domestic currency in wartime conditions, the Canadian government imposed a ban on the importation from the United States of certain classes of commodities deemed “non-essential.” Among such commodities were comic books and so-called “pulp magazines.” This ban lasted until 1946, though it was reintroduced with important modifications in 1947. From 1940 to 1946, a number of English-language Canadian publishers, the majority of them based in Toronto, introduced lines of magazines and comic books that partially reproduced the range of genres published in the United States. Now regarded as a period of significant national achievement in creative terms, this golden age is sometimes invoked as a particularly dramatic example of the ways in which national policy has been able to protect and stimulate Canadian cultural industries. The true crime magazine, of which examples are shown here, was one of the leading genres of Canadian popular periodical publication during this period.
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