Reviewed by Kevin Brushett (Department of History, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada)
Published on H-Canada (July, 1999)
"[He] looks ahead and sees no hope of escape from this condition except through the cemetery gates and the knowledge embitters him ... He reads all the literature he can get dealing with his condition and at last comes to the conclusion that the system of production for profit under which the capitalists pile up their millions while workers one generation after another are starved, body and soul, is the true cause of his misery, and he takes an oath with himself to work day in and day out for the abolition of the system to which he ascribes his miserable conditions in life. That is the cause of unrest."--Daniel MacDonald (p. 192)
"In some cities, there was a deliberate attempt to overthrow the existing organization of the Government and to supersede it by crude, fantastic methods founded upon absurd conceptions of what had been accomplished in Russia. It became necessary in some communities to repress revolutionary methods with a stern hand and from this I did not shrink."--Robert Borden
At 11 a.m. May 15, 1919, little more than six months after the guns fell silent in Europe to celebrate the arrival of peace, an eerie silence gripped the city of Winnipeg as thousands of workers walked off the job in response to the stalemate in industrial relations that had developed in the city. Winnipeg workers remained on the picket lines for another six weeks until the events of Bloody Sunday broke the back of the longest general strike in North American history. Over this period, thousands of other Canadian workers joined their colleagues in Winnipeg on the picket line, both in sympathy for their cause and to advance their own particular interests.
Despite the tragic defeat of the strike, the Winnipeg General Strike holds a central place in Canadian history. For historians documenting Canada's rise from "Colony to Nation," such embittered class conflict became an important signpost of Canada's journey from a colonial backwater to a modern industrial nation. For labour historians, the strike also represents a watershed in the history (and some might say the mythology) of the Canadian labour movement. While there is no doubt among Canadian historians that the Winnipeg General Strike was one of the most important events in Canadian history, there has been little consensus on the meaning of the strike. Indeed, perhaps no other event in Canadian history has generated so much controversy, and one might add vitriol, among historians. Was Canada on the eve of revolution? Or were Winnipeg workers striking for the simple right to bargain collectively? Was the strike caused by radical western workers as evidence of some kind of "western exceptionalism?" Or was it merely the tip of the iceberg in an otherwise national labour revolt? Even among labour historians the meaning of the General Strike has produced divisions which have at times been as sharp as those that cleft Winnipeg in twain in 1919.
Craig Heron's reappraisal of the events of 1919, The Workers' Revolt in Canada, 1917-1925, wades into this fractious territory with a solid synthesis of the events of the period and their ultimate meaning. Even so, there is relatively little new here. Much of the narrative, analysis, and most importantly interpretation of labour's great revolt can be found elsewhere (One only has to peruse the impressive forty-page bibliography). Nonetheless, the volume provides a good synthesis of the breadth and depth of the movement, and for the first time integrates much of the material in Canadian labour history from this period--a much needed project to say the least.
It is clear from the title of the book as well as the approach of the contributors that The Workers' Revolt in Canada intends to put the "sorry shibboleth" of western exceptionalism to rest. Thus, it is somewhat surprising that the book assesses the revolt from a regional perspective, while trying to incorporate more recent paradigms of gender, ethnicity, and ideology.
However, as two of the contributors argue, "The fact that labour's revolt was part of a national and international experience does not, of course, negate the necessity of regional perspectives. Regional textures of capitalist development and class relations, as well as the broader experience of workers, shaped the character of class struggle (p. 231). For the most part historians of the labour revolt east of Winnipeg attempt to refute the portrayal of eastern workers as innately conservative. They do this not simply by pointing out that these regions had their own radicals. Rather, they demonstrate the breadth and depth of the revolt that took place in large and small eastern and central Canadian communities. In particular, Ian McKay & Suzanne Morton's essay reveals that the Maritime labour revolt went beyond the radical and violent battles in the Cape Breton coal fields, to encompass as broad a range of workers as elsewhere in the country. On the other end of the scale, historians of the Western labour revolt tend to play down the radicalism of western workers as explanations of their behaviour in 1919. Direct action, syndicalism and general strikes, were strategies rather than ideological commitments, made by western workers to wrest specific demands from capital and the state. Placed in specific times and spaces, Canadian workers confronted capital and the state in a myriad of ways, each of which conditioned and required different responses. For this reason, the authors reject the Winnipeg General Strike as the litmus test of Canadian labour radicalism. As James Naylor and Tom Mitchell state most emphatically in their essay on Winnipeg and the West, "historians have generally offered only a single test of radicalism: did workers in other centres strike in sympathy with Winnipeg in May and June 1919? This is a high standard. Expressed differently, the question becomes, were workers willing to forego wages and in many cases risk the permanent loss of their jobs to support workers in a distant struggle whose goals were unclear and whose outcome was far from certain" (p. 196).
The chief strength of the collection is the way it jettisons the old dichotomies that have surrounded interpretations of the events of 1919: radical west vs. conservative east, socialists vs. labourites, industrial unionists/syndicalists vs. craft unionists, reform vs. revolution, politics vs. direct action. More importantly, these analyses of the workers' revolt go beyond assessing every action as part of a revolutionary moment or merely actions to attain the simple rights of collective bargaining. By refocusing our attention on the particularities of how different groups of workers approached the events of this period, The Workers' Revolt also eliminates the "heroes and villains" story-line which has so often dominated histories of this event. As a result, the old typologies of "Reformers Rebels, & Revolutionaries" no longer holds much interpretive weight. Each chapter emphasizes the open-ended nature of the entire workers' revolt, which though ideologically incoherent, nonetheless carried radical dimensions and potential--a fact that did not escape its participants on both sides of the class divide. Moreover, there are no "Fools and Wise Men" here, and the defeat in Winnipeg and elsewhere was not due simply to the treacherous suppression of rank and file militancy by conservative and reactionary trade union bureaucrats. As many of the authors demonstrate, the often mythologized industrial unionists and socialists could be as ideologically woolly as their more conservative colleagues, and they often made important strategic errors. As Craig Heron notes in his summary of the revolt, Western workers sympathetic to the industrial unions and the One Big Union (OBU) "constructed the defeat [of their resolution for industrial unionism at the 1917 Trades and Labor Congress] in regional terms ... and chose to minimize the evidence of support their position East of the Lakehead" (p. 291).
Two important and synthetic chapters by Craig Heron frame the regional approach in the rest of the volume. The opening chapter by Heron and Myer Siemiatycki sets the stage for the rest of the book by examining the causes of the post war revolt at the national level. Heron and Siemiatycki emphasize the way the war pitted notions of democracy, public service, and sacrifice against self-interest that drives capitalism. The First World War, they argue "disrupted the dynamics of pre-war working class life and provided new pressures and opportunities that would fuel large-scale working-class organisations, resistance and radicalization across the country" (p. 11). Indeed, the rhetoric of wartime propaganda only added fuel to the workers' revolt by highlighting the disparities between the ideals of the war--a war for democracy against Kaiserism--and life on the home front that was increasingly giving way to an interventionist state that tended to come down on the side of compulsion and authoritarian restrictions on civil liberties, rather than the democratization of Canadian social and industrial life for which Canadian workers and increasing numbers of middle class Canadians began to call.
They note that the labour revolt sprang from a position of strength among Canadian workers. The wartime economy placed a great deal of bargaining power in the hands of Canadian workers, many of them new to the workforce--particularly immigrants and women. Workers of all backgrounds took ready advantage of the situation by joining unions by the thousands and then striking for that very right, along with more bread and butter issues as better pay and improved working conditions. Nonetheless, there were dark clouds on the horizon. For one, the war sped up the transformation of industry along Tayloristic lines (deskilling, scientific management, assembly lines). Also, by the third year of the war wartime shortages and rising consumer prices began to take their toll on workers wages and standards of living. Evidence of profiteering by some of Canada's most notorious capitalists, and supposedly dollar a year men (i.e., Sir Joseph Flavelle), only added fuel to the fire. Nonetheless, they conclude that "the workers' revolt was not the desperate cry of the downtrodden and poverty-stricken proletariat. Rather, it grew out of a new found confidence in working class power, a profound sense of injustice, and a determination that society could run differently ... This wartime convergence of material and ideological forces ... facilitated the creation of the most broad-based, anti-capitalist workers' movements that ever appeared in Canada" (p. 27).
Yet at the same time despite this "heady confidence" (p. 27) the time was not ripe for labour's victory. Workers confronted the state, capital, and each other while divided along the lines of skill, gender, ethnicity, and political ideology, all of which severely hampered their efforts. Each group, placed differently in the Canadian socio-economic matrix, conceived different and often opposing strategies to confront common enemies. More important, Heron and Siemiatycki argue that the "Canadian state never flinched in the face of the escalating, widely based labour revolt" (p. 34). The workers revolt forced both the state and capital to develop more powerful, centralized mechanisms for combating radicalism than had ever existed in pre-War Canada (p. 36). Each of the subsequent regional analyses return to these same conclusions.
The second chapter by Maritime labour historians Ian McKay and Suzanne Morton is one of the best in the collection. The chapter continues recent trends of the Maritime historiography by challenging the image of the Maritimes as an unchanging innately conservative region; or in the immortal words of Frank Underhill, that "nothing ever happens down there." They illustrate that the Maritime labour revolt was not limited to the blood spilled on the Cape Breton coal fields, but was equally as extensive (in terms of numbers and types of workers involved, and the variety of strategies adopted) as the labour revolt waged across Canada. Yet, they claim, the widespread labour revolt was quickly and thoroughly suppressed in the historical memory of Maritimers. For McKay and Morton, this is the most tragic aspect of the Maritime labour revolt, because during the revolt Maritime workers overcame many of the barriers to which all counter-hegemonic projects in the region must inevitably face (the uneven fragmented economy which separates industrial workers from primary producers, paternalistic social relations, and fundamental gender equality) and yet not only failed, but left no lasting legacy. Here workers formed larger, less structured labour organizations, such as district federations, which spoke directly to the needs of a diverse workforce and the regional fragmentation that characterized Maritime society and its economy. Maritime workers also entered politics and were relatively successful, at least as successful as their counterparts elsewhere in the country. Most of this activity tended to swing towards the more moderate labourism. However, McKay and Morton are quick not to write of labourism as a confused and inchoate working class liberalism. Instead, they argue that it represented some of the best aspects of the workers' revolt, particularly labourism's broad-based appeal, and its tendency to break down "natural" social divisions and categories (p. 56). Moreover, they note that while labourism's political tactics may have been limited, its cultural and intellectual activities represented a kind of movement culture.
Like everywhere else, however, labour's day in the sun turned into a long night of crushing defeats. Though all Canadian workers experienced the effects of the post-war recession, McKay and Morton argue that Maritime workers were hit particularly hard by a double blow of the collapse of primary products markets and the logic of deindustrialization. Though recessions were nothing new to Maritime workers, the one that followed the war was larger than any since the 1870s, driving thousands of Maritimers "away" in search of work. In place of a larger Maritime revolt of producers, paternalism re-emerged under the thin veil of welfare capitalism, and on the political front through the Maritime Rights movement. The only thing left was the final battle which Cape Breton coal miners provided over a three year period between 1922 and 1925. Far from creating martyrs to the cause, as Bercuson claims most Marxist accounts of the labour revolt tend to do, McKay and Morton's account of the battles in the coal fields is extremely balanced. They illustrate that although labour's defeat came primarily at the hands of the combined forces of the state and capital which sought to smash the fifth column of the Red International they believed McLachlan and the UMW represented, the miners themselves seemed to have lacked a strategic sense and made "serious strategic errors" (pp. 71-76).
In a similar vein, although ultimately less successful, Geoffrey Ewen's chapter on Quebec also tries to minimize the notion of an innate French Canadian conservatism, which left Quebec as a weak link in the chain of Canadian labour radicalism during this period. Part of this image of conservatism, he claims, is the result of historians' misplaced focus on the growth of the Catholic labour movement which was a response to the growth of the labour radicalism during the period rather than an integral part of the revolt. Though more conservative than their counterparts in the rest of the country, Ewen highlights that the Quebec workers were not untouched by the labour's new militancy. Quebec workers, including craft unionists, established more inclusive organizations and adopted new strategies in their battle for collective bargaining. Like elsewhere, much of the militancy arose out of the rank and file, many of whom were new members to the labour movement, and was often tempered by cautious leadership from the international unions. Yet even virulent anti-communist labour leaders, such as Gustave Franq, declared that the war had accelerated the class struggle and had pushed workers to the brink of transformation. Workers were no longer satisfied with existing power structures and demanded a share in the management of industries. As the war progressed, these sentiments often escaped the boundaries of respectable labourism, and to the horror of Franq, some Quebec workers expressed sympathy with the Russian revolution. Nonetheless, support for the Winnipeg General Strike severely divided Quebec workers. In the end, craft unionism undermined the Montreal general strike, and labour militancy more generally, across the province.
Ewen also argues that the workers' revolt in Quebec was further limited by the inability of Quebec workers to put forward an effective and unified voice at the political level (p. 121). Once again traditional cleavages within the labour movement (ethnicity, craft vs. industrial unionists, and the tradition of lib-labism--that is support for the Liberal Party) divided workers in the political realm. Even neighbourhood labour clubs, which initially appeared as progressive institutions by uniting workers from national and international unions along with unorganized and unemployed workers, remained divided along ethnic lines. This was especially evident when French Canadian workers formed the Federation des clubs ouvriers municipaux de Montreal (FCOM) to represent their particular class and national interests. Moreover, unlike elsewhere, labourites in Quebec carried on a more hostile relationship with socialists. Finally, the age old alliance between labour and the Liberals re-emerged during the conscription crisis, and proved disastrous, especially after the economic downturn in 1920. Increasingly, labour members of the Liberal government became less effective in voicing workers' concerns within the Liberal caucus.
While Ewen successfully illustrates that Quebec workers were part of a national general labour revolt, he is less successful in overturning the interpretation that Quebec workers were, on the whole, more conservative than elsewhere in Canada. What is clear from Ewen's analysis is that ethnic and religious divisions only further weakened an already vulnerable labour movement. Given that Montreal was still Canada's most important industrial metropolis, a weak Quebec labour movement constituted a large chink in labour's armour.
James Naylor's account of the labour revolt in Ontario is largely a condensation of his book, The New Democracy, so there is little new here either in terms of information or interpretation. As in the larger book Naylor illustrates the dual nature of the revolt in Ontario. On one hand, Naylor repeatedly illustrates that Ontario was not the conservative monolith as it has been painted by previous historians of the revolt. As elsewhere, Ontario workers, in the words of their leader Joseph Marks, were caught up in "the spirit of revolt," so much so, that labour minister, Gideon Robertson, worried that Toronto might follow Winnipeg into a general strike. The key to the Ontario labour revolt was not simply the number of workers who flocked to unions during the war, but rather that for the first time since the movement culture of the Knights of Labour swept the province in the 1880s, unionism ceased to be the preserve of skilled men (p. 147). As a result, craft unionists like Marks, began to abandon the exclusivism of the craft unions for various forms of industrial unionism and amalgamation. For this reason, Naylor argues that Ontario workers rejected the OBU, not out of any innate conservatism, but rather because an "evolutionary movement" of amalgamation appeared to be a more sure route to industrial unionism, than the more revolutionary secessionist movement of the OBU. In a similar vein, Naylor argues that the failure of the Toronto General sympathetic strike was not due to conservative opposition to the idea of a general strike. Support for the Winnipeg strikers and strike leaders as well as OBU officials remained strong in Ontario. Ontario workers' ambivalence toward the general strike, concludes Naylor, was due to a careful assessment of the relationship of forces, and a lack of confidence in its ultimate success.
Nonetheless, Naylor argues, despite the unprecedented working class activity in Ontario during this period, "the goals of the movement appear meagre in comparison with the passion with which workers fought for them" (p. 145). Their overarching belief in the dignity of labour and uncompromising faith in democracy spurred them on to many industrial and political victories in 1919, yet provided little in the way strategy for taking the struggle to the next level. Naylor claims that this can be seen most clearly in the Ontario workers' overarching focus on waging the labour revolt at the ballot box rather than on the picket line. Craft union labourites and industrial union socialists put aside their differences over industrial strategy to mount an effective political opposition. They were soon rewarded with electoral success as eleven Independent Labor Party (ILP) members helped the United Farmers of Ontario form the first third-party government in Canadian history. Ontario workers figured they had found a way to snatch victory from the jaws of labour's defeat in Winnipeg; in striking at the ballot box Ontario workers claimed to have found the path of least resistance. Yet, as Naylor notes, electoral success lulled the labour movement into a false sense of security. Without a definite platform, the ILP appeared rudderless. Equally important, labour's alliance with their fellow producers masked important ideological and programmatic differences which quickly emerged once faced with the reality of governing. As Naylor notes, labourism's unqualified support for parliamentary institutions and its separation of industrial from political struggles prevented the movement from surging forward.
Though Naylor's interpretation of the labour revolt in Ontario is solid, the chapter's almost exclusive focus on Southern Ontario, and one might say the Golden Horseshoe area, is problematic. Though Southern Ontario was undoubtedly at the heart of the unrest, workers in Northern communities also were caught up in the revolt as evidenced by the fact that three of the eleven seats won by the ILP were in the North--Kenora, Sault Ste. Marie, and Fort William. Indeed, the ILP received popular support throughout the north in frontier communities such as Cobalt and Temiskaming. Considering the regional focus of the collection, an analysis of the affinities and divergences between frontier and metropolitan labour movements in Ontario would have been particularly germane.
James Naylor and Tom Mitchell's contribution on Winnipeg and the West is the key chapter in the book, as it deals head-on with the key events and interpretations of the revolt--the Winnipeg General Strike and western exceptionalism. In opposition to Bercuson's interpretation of the strike as isolated and reform oriented, they argue persuasively that, although the strike did not begin as a revolutionary movement, it soon took on radical if not revolutionary implications. "Although the strike was never an overtly revolutionary challenge for state power," the authors write, "it was certainly (particularly in the context of the events of 1918) a militant and dramatic rejection of the hegemony of capital in, and potentially beyond, Winnipeg. It was far from clear where the crisis would end" (pp. 182-83). Naylor and Mitchell also argue that the way in which the community gathered together diverse elements to present a united front was also revolutionary. Workers began to shed subjective positions formed around ethnicity and gender and began to present themselves as a class. Moreover, workers' control over city services during the strike was "an exercise in mass participation that represented a dramatic departure from workers' marginal role in liberal democracy" (p. 187). All of these facts, claim Naylor and Mitchell, should lead us to not draw too sharp a line between radicalism and militancy, as the two operated in tandem. They also suggest that historians listen more to the words of labour's opponents who privately expressed the revolutionary nature not only of the general strike, but of labour's supposedly non-revolutionary "bread and butter" demands.
Equally important, Naylor and Mitchell assess the impact of the strike on the rest of the Western provinces. They reject Bercuson's argument that the Winnipeg General Strike was an isolated event and, therefore, no general labour revolt took place. Using the Winnipeg General Strike to gauge labour radicalism elsewhere sets up a false comparison, because, they claim, events unfolded in other centres according to their own logic and according to workers' own assessments of the balance of forces. Like workers in Ontario, workers in other western centres regarded the events in Winnipeg with a discriminating eye. Naylor and Mitchell ask, "Were they willing to forgo wages, risk permanent loss of jobs and overturn established union structures in support of a strike that had vague and conflicting goals and whose outcome was far from certain?" (p. 196). In many cases the answer was yes. However, in places where workers chose not to follow their colleagues in Winnipeg, we cannot assume that they were, therefore, conservative. No matter what their response to the Winnipeg General Strike, Western workers challenged and recasted the same relationships of power and authority as their Winnipeg brethren.
The regional focus of the collection concludes with Allan Seager and David Roth's chapter on British Columbia and the mining West. Despite the peculiarities of the Western economy and society, Seager and Roth illustrate that the labour revolt in the far west was remarkably similar to that in the rest of the nation, and in doing so turn the argument against western exceptionalism on its head. Whereas the historians of the eastern labour revolt attempted to undermine the argument by illustrating that workers east of prairies were more radical than previously depicted, Seager and Roth argue that workers in British Columbia were often more conservative than previously portrayed. In British Columbia, as in the rest of the country, the labour revolt was led not by socialist leaning immigrants, but by British trade union militants. Yet, even if one could argue that these western workers from socialists to labourites were on the whole more radical than their eastern counterparts, radical ideas did not necessarily translate directly into radical actions. These workers, Seager and Roth point out, were equally as ambivalent towards the Winnipeg General Strike, and the OBU as their eastern comrades. Even the call for a general sympathy strike in Vancouver, they argue, was no revolution in the making. Rather it was a defence of the right to organize and bargain collectively. Nonetheless, conclude Seager and Roth, British Columbian workers' response to the Winnipeg General Strike was still significant, and given the situation it is "remarkable that the coastal labour movement was able to stave off surrender for as long as they did" (p. 258). Yet, surrender they did, and as elsewhere, the denouement of the western labour revolt witnessed a similar return to political and industrial normalcy. More conservative AFL craft union forces recaptured control over the labour movement, pushing the OBU and socialists to the sidelines.
Heron uses the last chapter, and a somewhat superfluous conclusion, to sum up the commonalities across the various chapters. He confirms the period as one of a general labour revolt, noting that strikes were distributed remarkably evenly across the country, despite the legacy of uneven capitalist development in Canada. He also notes that the period was one of intense unionization that would not be matched until the 1940s when war once again brought thousands of workers to unions. Most important, Heron argues that the revolutionary aspect of the workers' revolt lay not so much in labour's victories on the picket line and at the ballot box, but rather in the minds of workers. Individual workers, regardless of ethnicity, gender, political or industrial ideologies, began to rethink their roles in the labour movement and in society more generally. They were less inclined to accept guidance from established interests, be they within the labour movement or in civil society. In this sense, Heron notes, "the vision of a different society at the heart of the workers' revolt was greater than the sum of its individual parts." Whether labourist or socialist, craft unionist or syndicalist, workers of all stripes retained an open-ended vision of working class power, which carried radical dimensions and potential that did not escape the notice of bourgeois leaders (p. 295). Though Heron notes that workers made key strategic and tactical errors, the workers' revolt foundered mainly on the structural impediments which all counter hegemonic projects face--the inhospitable rocks of the fragmented Canadian economy, class formation and the combined forces of capital and the state who were reluctant to concede one inch of territory to workers. Nonetheless, Canadian workers severely tested their abilities to retain and restore the legitimacy of a liberal capitalist order in Canada, proving, in the words of Stuart Hall, that "hegemonizing is hard work."
The synthesis of more than thirty years of work on the labour movement during and after the First World War makes the collection extremely useful for both labour historians and Canadian historians more generally. It can only be hoped that similar volumes might appear for other important periods of Canadian labour history, such as the Depression and the emergence of industrial legality after World War II. Nonetheless, as Heron points out in the conclusion, The Workers' Revolt is by no means the final word on the period. While the collection is strong on workers' industrial and political battles, it is weak in relating community or everyday concerns of workers to the formation of the revolt and perhaps even to its decline. Much of this is undoubtedly due to a general weakness of the historical literature. Nonetheless, key sources that may have added to the contextual analysis of the labour revolt are conspicuous only by their absence. Heron notes some of these works in a footnote in the conclusion, but it is a case of "too little, too late" (n. 6 & 8, pp. 312-13).
For example, we know that housing conditions were a chief complaint of workers during the Mathers' Commission hearings, but there is little in this collection which addresses how such issues may have added to the revolt, or even led to its denouement. We often assume community issues, such as housing, only reflect class status and experience rather than being a key determinant of working class experience. There are a whole myriad of ways that housing tenure and occupancy may have altered the demands of Canadian workers on the picket line and at the ballot box. Equally important, the separation of workers along the lines of housing tenure was also another line of division keeping workers from one another, and another means by which capital and the state could and did exploit labour's fault lines. Equally important, community activism around the politics of the home has tended to draw women into working class struggles to a greater degree than industrial struggles. Did women join unions, union auxiliaries, and working-class political parties for community issues as much as for industrial ones? Given the dominant theme of the women's movement during this period has been described as "maternal feminism," separating workplace and community issues would be unwise. Nonetheless, such additional modes of analysis will most likely enrich, rather than overturn to the interpretative framework provided by The Workers' Revolt. In that sense Heron is right The Workers' Revolt, is greater than the sum of its individual parts.
. An introduction to labour historians' venomous debate over the meaning of the events in Winnipeg in 1919 can be gleaned from the epilogue to the revised edition of David Bercuson, Confrontation at Winnipeg: Labour, Industrial Relations and the General Strikes (Kingston and Montreal, 1990), from various chapters in Gregory Kealey's collection of essays Workers and Canadian History (Kingston & Montreal, 1995), which includes his seminal piece "1919: The Canadian Labour Revolt."
. G.S. Kealey, Workers and Canadian History, 293.
. Used with apologies to A. Ross McCormack, Reformers, Rebels and Revolutionaries: The Western Canadian Radical Movement, 1899-1919. (Toronto, 1977).
. David Jay Bercuson, Fools and Wisemen: The Rise and Fall of the One Big Union (Toronto, 1978).
. Cited in E.R. Forbes,Challenging the Regional Stereotypes: Essays on the 20th Century Maritimes (Fredericton, 1989), 53.
. S. Hall cited in G. Lipsitz, "The Struggle for Hegemony," Journal of American History, 75 (June 1988), p. 147.
. One could add to the list the work of historians who have linked working class life and politics to housing issues such as Sean Purdy, "The Political Economy of Housing Reform in Toronto, 1900-1921," M.A. Thesis, History, Queen's University, 1991; and "'This is Not a Company; It Is a Cause': Class, Gender and the Toronto Housing Company, 1912-1920," Urban History Review, 21, 2 (1993); and Jill Wade, House for all: The Struggle for Social Housing in Vancouver, 1919-50, (Vancouver, 1994).
. See the work of Richard Harris, in particular, "The Family Home in Working-Class Life", Research Paper no. 171, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto, 1989; Unplanned Suburbs: Toronto's American Tragedy, 1900-1950 (Baltimore, 1996); and Oliver Zunz,The Changing Face of Inequality: Urbanization, Industrial Development and Immigrants to Detroit, 1880-1920 (Chicago, 1982).
. For examples of such an approach for later decades see the work of Van Gosse, "To Organize in Every Neighbourhood, in Every Home: The Gender Politics of American Communists between the Wars" Radical History Review 50 (1991), 209-252; P. Schulz, The East York Workers Association: A Response to the Great Depression (Toronto, 1975); and S. Prentice, 'Militant Mothers in Domestic Times: Toronto's Post-War Child-Care Struggle," (unpublished PhD. dissertation York University, 1993).
Copyright (c) 1999 by H-Net, all rights reserved. This work may be copied for non-profit educational use if proper credit is given to the author and the list. For other permission, please contact H-Net@h-net.msu.edu.
If there is additional discussion of this review, you may access it through the network, at: https://networks.h-net.org/h-canada.
Kevin Brushett. Review of Heron, Craig, ed., The Workers' Revolt in Canada, 1917-1925.
H-Canada, H-Net Reviews.
Copyright © 1999 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews editorial staff at email@example.com.