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Militant Minority British Columbia Workers and the Rise of a New Left, 1948-1972

by Benjamin Isitt

Militant Minority British Columbia Workers and the Rise of a New Left, 1948-1972 Synopsis

Militant Minority tells the compelling story of British Columbia workers who sustained a left tradition during the bleakest days of the Cold War. Through their continuing activism on issues from the politics of timber licenses to global questions of war and peace, these workers bridged the transition from an Old to a New Left. In the late 1950s, half of B.C.'s workers belonged to unions, but the promise of postwar collective bargaining spawned disillusionment tied to inflation and automation. A new working class that was educated, white collar, and increasingly rebellious shifted the locus of activism from the Communist Party and Co-operative Commonwealth Federation to the newly formed New Democratic Party, which was elected in 1972. Grounded in archival research and oral history, Militant Minority provides a valuable case study of one of the most organized and independent working classes in North America, during a period of ideological tension and unprecedented material advance.

Militant Minority British Columbia Workers and the Rise of a New Left, 1948-1972 Press Reviews

'Militant Minority is a well-researched and well-documented look at British Columbia's labour movement and its impact on the political landscape during a time of great change... Isitt is not an apologist for the left, for organized labour or anyone else. He tells the story in a matter-of-fact way, free of spin or political message. That neutrality is its strength: It is valuable to all readers, regardless of political points of view, because it provides insight and background into a critical time in our history.' -- David Obee , Times Colonist, December 24/2011

Book Information

ISBN: 9781442611054
Publication date: 21st May 2011
Author: Benjamin Isitt
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 424 pages
Categories: Industrialisation & industrial history, Social & cultural history, Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies,

About Benjamin Isitt

Benjamin Isitt is British Columbia-based historian specializing in social movements in twentieth-century Canada and the world.

More About Benjamin Isitt

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