“Paul Allen tells the remarkable “bacca” business story that begins in Elizabethan times in rural Virginia and moves up to southwestern Ontario at the turn of the twentieth century.  Largely the story of Ed Allen (“EDA”), the author’s father and long time President of  Canadian Leaf Tobacco (CLT), When Tobacco Was King traces the rise and fall of an industry that has been vilified for its detrimental affects on health but was a part of the glamour of the wealthy and the solace of the poor—an industry that has and continues to be important to many First Nations.  Meet the families Duke, Morris, Lyon, MacDonald, and of course, Allen.  Travel to Rhodesia, Europe and Japan. As a business and social history, When Tobacco Was King is thorough and detailed and a pleasure to read.”     David McNeil, Professor of English Dalhousie University and author In the Pressure of the Moment: Remembering Gerry McNeil.  



“When Tobacco Was King" is the story of the most profitable agricultural product ever and it details the tobacco industry’s start up from its early infancy in North Carolina to its spread across the border into Canada. The growth of the Canadian tobacco business is seen through the nearly fifty-year career of a young North Carolinian who was born and raised on a tobacco farm in the south and came to Canada as a teenager to work in the tobacco fields of Ontario. The reader follows this pioneer tobacco man as he rose through the ranks to become the president of the Canadian Leaf Tobacco Company, the second largest purchaser and processor of tobacco in Canada. Based on previously unpublished records, personal correspondence, and to date research, readers will enjoy a trip back to a different period of time when the currently maligned tobacco industry had a significant economic impact on people's lives when tobacco was king.