Preview of the 100th Anniversary Edition for 2017.
(projected release date: Fall of 2016)

With over 220 photographs and illustrations, this Second Edition volume contains two brand new sections: 1) The Ships of the 1917 Halifax Explosion (12 pages) with individual photographs and histories of the vessels; 2) A photographic history of The Royal Naval College of Canada (8 pages). Other features: a clarification & errata page, an illustrated timeline from collision to explosion, additional photographs - many previously unseen, a full list of all witnesses and sessions of the Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry, updated information, and a new cover.

The 2014 Atlantic Book Awards:
Scapegoat: winner of the Dartmouth Book Award for non-fiction.
This award is in memory of Robbie Robertson and is presented by the Kiwanis Club of Dartmouth.


Scapegoat is a recipient of the 2015 Bronze IPPY Award
(Independent Publisher Book Awards)
in the Canada-East Best Regional Non-Fiction Category.

Title: Scapegoat - the extraordinary legal proceedings following the 1917 Halifax Explosion
ISBN 978-1-895814-62-0 (pbk.)
Author: Joel Zemel
Subject: History (non-fiction)
Category: Scholarly Monograph (fully notated and indexed)
Format: Soft cover, 7" x 10", 504 pages (including full-page photographs)
Publisher: New World Publishing
Publishing Date: Fall of 2016
Book Price: TBA


On the morning of 6 December 1917, a French munitions ship, SS Mont Blanc, carrying a full cargo of highly volatile explosives, and a Belgian Relief vessel under Norwegian registry, SS Imo, collided in Halifax Harbour. Twenty minutes later, a catastrophic explosion destroyed the district of Richmond in the North End of the city, causing the loss of over 2,000 lives, countless injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. At first, German spies and saboteurs were assumed to have been the culprits. However, within a few days, Captain Aime Le Medec and Pilot Francis Mackey of Mont Blanc were under intense scrutiny in the court of public opinion.

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NWP Managing Editor, Francis Mitchell, accepts the Dartmouth Book Award on Joel's behalf.

Joel Zemel is the historical and design consultant for Canada Post Corporation's Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp. The OFDC will be released to the general public in November of 2017.

Click to read an excerpt (Chapter 4, pp. 61-63) from Scapegoat.

Read a review for Atlantic Books Today's 2014 Christmas issue by Henry Roper.

Read an article by Dean Jobb in the National Post,
regarding the destruction of Ground Zero
and the the loss of the view to the harbour from Needham Hill.
Janet Kitz and Joel Zemel are interviewed.

Listen to a radio interview with Joel Zemel & Rick Howe on News 95.7. (19 June 2014)

CTV Atlantic interview with Joel Zemel.

Global TV interview with Joel Zemel.

Listen to Joel Zemel discuss Scapegoat in a radio interview with Rick Howe on News 95.7.

An article by Kevin McCoy, President Irving Shipbuilding
"Shipyard Transformation: Generating Nova Scotia employment today."

Read the complete winners list of the 2014 Atlantic Book Awards.

The 2014 Atlantic Book Awards Festival poster.

Click for an article in the Chronicle Herald entitled
"Seven N. S. Writers Honoured"

New World Publishing:

New World Publishing sells Scapegoat through its website. The book is also available in selected bookstores throughout Atlantic Canada at Bookmark and Chapters/Indigo, and online at, and 49th Shelf.

Where to buy Scapegoat in HRM:

In HRM, Scapegoat is available from Carrefour Atlantic, Historic Properties.
Map Location

Scapegoat is available at the following learning and lending institutions:
Osgoode Hall Law Library (Toronto, Ontario)
Library and Archives Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
Nova Scotia Archives
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
McCord Museum (Montreal, PQ)
Westminster School Archives (London, England)
Halifax Regional Libraries
Cape Breton Regional Library
Annapolis Valley Regional Library
South Shore Regional Library
Greater Victoria Public Library (B. C.)
Vancouver Public Library (B. C.)

Articles on the research and completion of Scapegoat in the Westminster School newsletter,
"The Elizabethan," by Consultant Archivist, Rita Boswell (ret.) 2010-2011
and Archivist and Records Manager, Elizabeth Wells 2014.

In the Wake of the Explosion
Newspaper article

* * *


Joel Zemel is a long-time musician/filmmaker turned author/historian and resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is available for lectures on his book and music (jazz). He will also accept private or corporate research projects.

See the List of Professional Researchers on the HRM Archives website.

Scapegoat was researched, written and originally published without municipal, provincial or federal funding assistance.

Below: Some of the finalists for the 2014 Atlantic Book Awards and publishers.
Click on the photo for the complete shortlist of nominees.

* * *

The Anatomy of A Disaster

Tracking the Elusive HMC Dockyard Observatory

Highlights of Scapegoat and the 1917 Halifax Explosion talk on YouTube - Parts 1, 2 & 3.

Please note: Reference to HMS Preserver was meant as "HMCS" - JHZ.

Please note: The figure I mention of $1,500 a month as the salary taken in by some of the pilots should actually
have been $1,000 a month as stated in my book. Mea culpa - JHZ.

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SVP Productions. Scapegoat History of the legal proceedings following the 1917 Halifax Explosion. (price does not include shipping) Category: Product #: 9780968492093 5 stars, based on customer reviews Regular price: $46.00. $ 39.95.00 () Available from: SVP Productions. Currently in stock