The Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929 by David BrightThe Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929 by David Bright

The Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929

byDavid Bright

Paperback | May 1, 1999

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In a few short decades before the First World War, Calgary wastransformed from a frontier outpost into a complex industrialmetropolis. With industrialization there emerged a diverse and equallycomplex working class. David Bright explores the various levels ofclass formation and class identity in the city to argue thatCalgary's reputation as a prewar centre of labour conservatism isin need of revision.

Bright also delineates the trials of the Calgary labour movement inthe 1920s. Internal divisions and dissent prevented the movement fromrealizing the potential strength of the working class. Instead, even aslocal capitalism restructured itself, political and industrial labourorganizations wilfully fragmented their own base of support. Inparticular, they failed to address the concerns and needs of thegrowing number of unemployed in the city, a neglect that foreshadowedevents of the 1930s.

This failure left the labour movement unable to meet the challengeof the Great Depression. In part, at least, the demise of labour as aviable political alternative in Calgary paved the way for the rise ofSocial Credit.

Using Calgary as a model, The Limits of Labour reassertsthe need to place class formation at the heart of the development ofwestern Canada and provides an historical context to the renewedstruggle of labour for social justice in the 1990s.

David Bright teaches history at the University of Calgary and at Mount Royal College, Calgary.
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Title:The Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929Format:PaperbackDimensions:286 pages, 9 × 6.01 × 0.83 inPublished:May 1, 1999Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774806974

ISBN - 13:9780774806978

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Reviews

Table of Contents

Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

 

Part 1: Class Formation, 1883-1913

1. From Cow Town to Hub of Industry

2. Social Divisions and Class Disposition

3. Class, Culture, and Politics

4. Unions and Strikes

 

Part 2: The Labour Movement, 1913-29

5. Depression and War, 1913-7

6. Economic Recession and Restructuring, 1918-24

7. 1919: Revolt Reconsidered

8. Dissent and Descent: Labour Politics in Calgary, 1918-24

9. The Limits of Labour, 1925-9

 

Epilogue

Notes

Bibliography

From Our Editors

David Bright examines class formation and identity in the years previous to the First World War in The Limits of Labour: Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Calgary, 1883-1929. One of the central arguments presented by this book is that Calgary’s reputation as a centre of labour conservatism is an oversimplification in need of rethinking.

Editorial Reviews

Bright's well-crafted work contributes usefully to the fast-developing study of local labor history in western Canadian cities ... Recommended. - M. J. Moore - Choice - 19990601