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humanities 293 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Americans previously excluded from such initiatives. Faced with both racist hostility and, from white liberals, condescending paternalism, the black elite sought to consolidate its precarious position by acting as gatekeepers, allowing only >respectable= and >morally upright= members of the community the chance to participate in New Deal programs. The costs of this strategy are made dramatically clear in Ferguson=s chapter on slum clearance and urban renewal. Allying themselves with white housing authority officials, black leaders were party to the depiction of vibrant African-American working-class neighborhoods as >slums,= the demolition of black districts that threatened developers= plans for a revitalized downtown core, and the creation of a concentrated west side ghetto. Moreover, the concessions that black leaders wrung from city and federal authorities emerge as paltry at best in Ferguson=s account: the relatively small number of places reserved for blacks in Atlanta area public housing came at the cost of increased state scrutiny of the African-American population. Despite Ferguson=s many achievements, Black Politics in New Deal Atlanta is not without some small flaws. Although an early chapter considers radical alternatives to the black elite=s incorporationist strategy, Ferguson omits any sustained discussion of organized African-American workers. She observes that Atlanta largely lacked the heavy industrial base that allowed black workers in other southern cities to use the new CIO unions as vehicles to combat discrimination, but nonetheless she might have followed the leads of historians Bruce Nelson and Judith Stein, who have charted the ambiguous racial record of the industrial union upsurge in the region. Similarly, while Ferguson explores the role of the Atlanta NAACP in furthering the aims of the black middle class, she is silent on the working class turn the Association took during the Second World War. All things considered, though, these are minor quibbles that do not significantly detract from a very fine book. (RICK HALPERN) Steve Hewitt. Spying 101: The RCMP=s Secret Activities at Canadian Universities, 1917B1997 University of Toronto Press. xvi, 296. $30.00 In the 1960s I attended a meeting of the Canadian Civil Liberties Union in Toronto, mainly because I wanted to hear the guest speaker, the McGill University law professor Frank R. Scott. What exactly his topic was I can=t recall, but I remember him saying that, although the RCMP had originally been founded to keep a watchful eye on the aboriginal peoples of the western plains, by the 1960s it was keeping a watchful eye on Canadians everywhere: >We are all Indians now.= Reading Steve Hewitt=s fine book about the activities of the RCMP on 294 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Canadian campuses since 1917, I wondered how thick the file was that they put together on Scott over the years. From my own research in the McGill University Archives I know that in 1932 Principal Arthur Currie=s assistant, Colonel Wilfrid Bovey, assured the commissioner of the RCMP, J.H. MacBrien, that Scott and his associates in left-wing activity, Eugene Forsey and the United Theological College=s King Gordon, were no danger to their students or to Canada, since they believed in political change by constitutional means. As Hewitt shows, however, information that some individual or group did not represent any threat did not mean that the RCMP lost interest in them. Once opened, files were rarely closed. The story that Hewitt tells is both entertaining and cautionary. It is entertaining because for years the RCMP=s Security Service operatives on Canadian campuses were usually out of their depth. Relatively ill-educated into the 1960s, with a simple-minded view of subversion, of Canadian society, and of universities, their reports often piled irrelevancy on inaccuracy. The tale is cautionary because Hewitt shows how ready the RCMP was to waste money while playing fast and loose with civil rights when it came to monitoring perceived threats from the political left. Security Service efforts on campus needed to be secret for several reasons. Subversives worked below the surface almost by definition and therefore could not be tracked by...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 293-295
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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