Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists And The People?s Enlightenment In Canada, 1890-1920 by Ian McKayReasoning Otherwise: Leftists And The People?s Enlightenment In Canada, 1890-1920 by Ian McKay

Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists And The People?s Enlightenment In Canada, 1890-1920

byIan McKay

Paperback | November 15, 2008

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In Reasoning Otherwise, author Ian McKay returns to the concepts and methods of "reconnaissance" first outlined in Rebels, Reds, Radicals to examine the people and events that led to the rise of the left in Canada from 1890 to 1920. Reasoning Otherwise highlights how a new way of looking at the world based on theories of evolution transformed struggles around class, religion, gender, and race, and culminates in a new interpretation of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919.

As McKay demonstrated in Rebels, Reds, Radicals, the Canadian left is alive and flourishing, and has shaped the Canadian experience in subtle and powerful ways. Reasoning Otherwise continues this tradition of offering important new insight into the deep roots of leftism in Canada.

Ian McKay is Professor of History at Queen?s University and the author of the award-winning Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People?s Enlightenment in Canada, 1890?1920.
Title:Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists And The People?s Enlightenment In Canada, 1890-1920Format:PaperbackDimensions:656 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.22 inPublished:November 15, 2008Publisher:Between the LinesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1897071493

ISBN - 13:9781897071496

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but too long I have great repsect for McKay as an author and historian, but this volume runs a couple hundred pages too long because of its tendency towards repetition.
Date published: 2017-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reconnaissance of Canadian Socialism From one of Canada's pre-eminent historians Ian McKay, this is the first book of a multi-volume history of Canada's leftist tradition. Rather than a monograph or a biographical approach, McKay prefers to call his research, a reconnaissance of the hegemonic struggle of the left. As such, the book is written in an academic format. Instead of a linear narrative of the "great man" figures of Canadian socialism, the book is divided thematically beginning with the theoretical framework which is then succeeded by McKay's reconnaissance into the fundamental questions of class, religion, gender, and race. Finally, McKay brings all of it together into a detailed analysis of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, the crescendo of the movement and the immediate aftermath. Throughout the book, McKay underlies his analysis using the evolutionary theories of Darwin and Spencer, intertwined with Marxist dogma. It's interesting to see the parallels of the many debates within Canadian socialism with other international movements like Bolshevism. The debates over class-consciousness, nationalism, and free-love to name a few. And while Canadian socialism never garnered the attention of the great thinkers like a Lenin, Trotsky, Bukharin, or a Debs, or Emma Goldman; it's challenge to the liberal order fundamentally changed the political landscape such that Canada's socialist tradition was not simply an ephemeral phenomenon as it was in the United States but instead had a long-lasting impact of which much of its effects can still be felt today. "Reasoning Otherwise" is a nuanced academic exploration of Canada's left. McKay's writing is engaging as usual and as always, his work always leaves you more "enlightened" then before you began.
Date published: 2009-07-12

Read from the Book

Vancouver, 23 May 1914. The vessel crept into Burrard Inlet shortly before three o?clock that Sunday morning ? a weather-beaten, average-sized, rusting old thing, scarred with its 24 years of hard labour on the oceans of the world. Just another working ship, in a worldly port well used to them, a casual observer might have said. Yet as darkness yielded to dawn, crowds gathered on the waterfront, some in hope and others in anger, gazing expectantly out on this unprepossessing vessel anchored in the stream, well away from the bustling wharves and docks of the awakening city.Appearances were deceiving. Once this British-built vessel had been called the Stubbenuk. Later, working the North Atlantic as part of the Hamburg-American Line, it had gone by the name of the Sicilia. Now it was owned by a small Japanese company, Shinei Kishen Go Shi Kaisha. It had sailed under Captain Yamamoto, with a Japanese crew. Just under 330 feet in length, with a gross tonnage of 2, 926 tons, it had been charted for the Hong Kong-Vancouver run, in part to carry a shipment of Japanese coal. Yet for some reason, in the words of the Vancouver Province, this ?sea-grimed vessel? had ?suddenly jumped into the spotlight.? For the vessel once known as Stubbenuk and Sicilia ? and now as the Komagata Maru ? would leave its name in history as the very epitome of the explosive politics of race and immigration.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Reconnaissance and Resistance
  • Chapter 1: Socialism: The Revolutionary Science of Social Evolution
  • Chapter 2: The Emergence of the First Formation in Canada, 1890-1902
  • Chapter 3: The Class Question
  • Chapter 4: The Religion Question
  • Chapter 5: The Woman Question
  • Chapter 6: The Race Question
  • Chapter 7: War, Revolution, and General Strike
  • Chapter 8: Showtime, 1920
  • Notes
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

"Essential reading for historians of labor and the left as well as of North American history more generally. It is one of those rare books that inspire you to throw out your undergraduate lecture notes and to start anew."