Mentor of the Cuban Revolution
In 1953, Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro stated that the “intellectual author” of his revolution was the nineteenth-century writer and revolutionary José Martí. An advocate of social justice, economic democracy and anti-imperialism, Martí wrote extensively about the future of a “Cuba libre,” freed from Spain’s rule, and is celebrated as one of Latin America’s most important thinkers. Based on a detailed analysis of the twenty-five volumes of his complete works, José Martí studies the nature of this Cuban writer/revolutionary and examines the depth and breadth of Martí’s thought on society, economics, politics and morality. This book also investigates the uses and abuses of Martí as a political symbol by those who claim to espouse his ideas. In this insightful, balanced analysis, John M. Kirk argues that Martí’s political thought was remarkably advanced – and still holds tremendous relevance for the modern era.
Remembering Muriel Duckworth, Her Later Years, 1996-2009
Muriel Duckworth passed away August 22, 2009 in her one hundred and first year. In the weeks that followed memorial services were held in Austin Quebec, Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. People from across Canada recognized that her passing marked the end of an era and they wanted to not only remember her but to come together to be a part of her ongoing legacy of love. This book brings together stories from Muriel’s family and close friends from the past dozen years of her life. It is a collection of incredible tales of Muriel’s ability to reach out to people, her humour, her deep affection for her family, her ongoing activism and enduring political feistiness, her views on education, religion, death, war and love. The book is richly illustrated with photographs from Muriel’s later years.
John St. Amand – A Biography
Few mature men and women choose to abandon secure employment with handsome health and retirement benefits for a cause and an uncertain future. This biographical memoir is about a man who did just this, abandoning a promising career as a sociologist at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, for the turbulent life of union organizer in Nova Scotia.
In one of his first organizing campaigns, John St. Amand crisscrossed industrial Cape Breton signing up workers to the new Canadian Miner’s Union and became known as “the guy in the green truck.” Archie Kennedy, a miner who worked with John, said, “It is difficult for ‘mainlanders’ to penetrate the culture of Cape Breton and to be accepted by Cape Bretoners as one of their own. John St. Amand did exactly that.” He had a great ability to communicate with people.
St. Amand’s life became a testament to those who choose to advance the cause of the underdog in the hope of building a better society for us all. This book is a tribute to a courageous fighter who worked tirelessly to bring hope and justice to those most oppressed and neglected in our society. His courage, daring, incorrigible sense of mischief and his dedication to working men and women all combined to banish any thought of defeat in the face of lost campaigns.
A Journey Through Many Doors, An Autobiography
Bridglal (Bridge) Pachai, a life long advocate of social justice, was born in a thatched roof cottage in Umbulwana, South Africa. His journey has taken him from South Africa to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Along the way he has taught history at universities in South Africa, Malawi, The Gambia and Halifax. He has also served as director of the Black Cultural Centre in Nova Scotia and as director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. In the words of Tom McInnis, his senior when Bridge was director of the Human Rights Commission, he could “dance with the lords and be with the paupers.”
Jean-Claude Parrot and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Jean-Claude Parrot was National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers for fifteen years and its chief negotiator for eighteen. During that time he provided the leadership which built what became Canada’s most militant and democratic union. When Pierre Trudeau decided to make the post office a crown corporation Parrot was there to guide the transition. He was also there to oversee the merger of the various postal unions into “one union for all.”
From Rink Rat to Student Radical
What makes a student radical? Can students in the 21st century play a part in changing the world? What were those troublemakers thinking when they blocked former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking at Concordia University in Montreal? Playing Left Wing answers these and other questions by telling the story of how a former junior hockey player became media spokesperson for the “most radical” university students in Canada. An entertaining read, Playing Left Wing is also an informative inside look at the thinking, motivation and politics of the latest generation of student activists.
55 Years in Public Service in Nova Scotia
“Fred MacKinnon has been hailed as the outstanding public servant of his generation in Nova Scotia. During a 55-year career in government, he was a key figure in the formulation and reform of social policy for the province. In particular, he was chiefly responsible for an emphasis on the important role of private agencies and volunteerism, the introduction of a modern system of social assistance, the extension of the child welfare service through the Children’s Aid Societies, the development of a human rights program that led to the Human Rights Commission, and the establishment of the Senior Citizens’ Secretariat.
Memoirs from the Left
John Saville has been one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century in the field of British Labour History. He was a Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Hull. He has written or edited over twenty books including 1848, The Consolidation of the Capitalist State, and the Dictionary of Labour Biography. His political memoirs touch upon: • Early life; joining the Communist Party at the LSE, travels in France and Nazi Germany • Stories of war service as an Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Sergeant-Major • WW2 army life in India–colonialism and the Communist Party • Teaching at the Department of Economic History at the University of Hull • Deeply involved in the crisis of the British Communist Party in 1956, following the Soviet invasion of Hungary • Acquaintances and co-thinkers: the MI5 agent planted at his home in Hull, John Griffith, Stuart Hall, Philip Larkin, Doris Lessing, Ralph Miliband, Sir John Pratt, Raphael Samuel, E.P. Thompson • Working against America’s Cold War politics • Editing the Dictionary of Labour Biography and the Socialist Register • Life in Hull, perspectives on the rightward drift of Labour An engaging read that provides much insight on the life of John Saville, his writings and his impact on the thinking of The Left.
Ralph Miliband (1924-94) was a key 20th-century political thinker. His books The State in Capitalist Society (Quartet) and Parliamentary Socialism (Merlin) influenced a generation of the left and provided a focus for academic debate. Miliband’s life and work were devoted to the attempt to define and apply an independent form of socialism. As a result of his published works, teaching and role in political movements, he became the most influential socialist political theorist writing in English, and he was as well known in North America, where he held several visiting professorships, as in Britain. His writings were also widely translated. The Socialist Register, which he founded (with John Saville) and edited for thirty years, brought him into contact with left-wing intellectuals throughout the world. Miliband, an energetic letter writer, corresponded on political issues with such figures as C.Wright Mills, E.P. Thompson, Leszek Kolakowski, John Saville, Marcel Liebman, Rossana Rossanda, K.S.Karol, André Gorz and Perry Anderson. Based on exclusive access to Miliband’s extensive personal papers and supplemented by interviews, this book analyses the ideas and contribution of a key figure in the British and international Left from the second world war until the collapse of communism. It also provides an interpretative history of the evolution, debates and dilemmas of socialists throughout the period, and of the problems they faced both at work defending academic freedom and in society at large.
Canadian Man of Letters
Archibald MacMechan taught English at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between 1889 and 1931. His students included Ernest Buckler, Lucy Maud Montgomery and Helen Creighton, and his influence as a teacher was far reaching. He was very active as a book reviewer whose reviews were widely read and often ahead of their time. Writers as disparate as Herman Melville and Virginia Woolf wrote to him expressing their appreciation of his readings of their work. MacMechan himself thought he would be best remembered as a chronicler of Nova Scotia’s seafaring past. His accounts of significant moments in the province’s history were published in three volumes – Old Province Tales, Sagas of the Sea, and There Go the Ships. Popular when they were published in the 1920s, they are now out of print. This study of Mac Mechan is an attempt to place his work in its context and bring it to the attention of a new generation of readers.