Non-Fiction Books:

Not for King or Country

Edward Cecil-Smith, the Communist Party of Canada, and the Spanish Civil War


Paperback / softback

Customer rating

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!

Share this product

Not for King or Country by Tyler Wentzell

Pre-order to reserve stock from our first shipment. Your credit card will not be charged until your order is ready to ship.

Available for pre-order now
Pre-order Price Guarantee

If you pre-order an item and the price drops before the release date, you’ll pay the lowest price. This happens automatically when you pre-order and pay by credit card or pickup.

If paying by PayPal or internet banking, and the price drops after you have paid, you can ask for the difference to be refunded. Find out more

If Mighty Ape's price changes before release, you'll pay the lowest price.


This product will be released on

Delivering to:

It should arrive:

  • 16 November using standard courier delivery


Not for King or Country tells the story of Edward Cecil-Smith, a dynamic propagandist for the Communist Party of Canada during the Great Depression. Born to missionary parents in China in 1903, Cecil-Smith came to Toronto in 1919 where he joined the Canadian militia and lived a happy life ensconced in the Protestant missionary community of Toronto. He became increasingly interested in radical politics during the 1920s, eventually joining the Communist Party in 1931. Worried by the growing strength of fascism around the world, particularly in China, Germany, Italy, and Spain during the summer of 1936, Cecil-Smith quietly departed Canada and became among the first volunteers to fight for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. Cecil-Smith was motivated to fight not out of any sense of traditional patriotism ("for king or country") but out of a sense that the onward march of fascism had to be stopped, and Spain was where the line had to be drawn. Not for King or Country is the first biography of a Canadian volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, and is also the first book to critically analyse the major battles in which the Canadian and American volunteers fought. Drawing upon declassified RCMP files, records held in the Russian Archives in Moscow, audio recordings of the volunteers, a detailed survey of maps, and battle records, as well as and the Communist Party press, Not for King or Country breaks down the battles and the Party's activities in a way that will be accessible to interested readers and scholars alike.

Author Biography

Tyler Wentzell is an independent scholar based in Toronto. He is a Canadian infantry officer and a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. This is his first book.
Release date NZ
November 15th, 2018
Country of Publication
University of Toronto Press
Product ID

Customer previews

Nobody has previewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Preview

Help & options

  • If you think we've made a mistake or omitted details, please send us your feedback. Send Feedback
  • If you have a question or problem with this product, visit our Help section. Get Help
  • Seen a lower price for this product elsewhere? We'll do our best to beat it. Request a better price
Filed under...

Buy this and earn 285 Banana Points