From the early to late 1930s, a movement for a people's economy, named the "Antigonish Movement," caught the imagination of the world. It leader was Rev. Moses Coady, Nova Scotia's native son from the Margaree Valley. Journalists, liberal-minded religious leaders, papal authorities, eastern seaboard intellectuals, professors, theologians, social reformers, wild-eyed dreamers, co-operative leaders, and innocent youth came from far and wide to witness the "miracle of Antigonish." Hard minds and doubting hearts simply melted as tourists of the co-operative miracle witnessed rustic lobster factories, credit unions and co-op stores spring up in communities with previously unremarkable histories.
Antigonish, a small town in Nova Scotia, was transformed into an imaginative space into which people could project their social fantasies. Many people of Christian persuasion, spiritually dislocated and bewildered by the scale and scope of change in the post-World War I era, desperately wanted their leader, Moses Michael Coady, to be their modern Moses who could fashion a non-violent alternative to fascism and communism. They wanted someone to lead them out of oppression into the promised land of co-operation. Throughout his tumultuous mature life, from his mid 40s to his late 70s, Moses Coady thundered against the "vested interests" that kept the common people enchained.