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Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Anglo-Soviet Relations and the Metro-Vickers Crisis
“Russian politics, like opium, seems infallibly to provoke the most fantastic dreams and imaginings on the part of the people who study them.” — E.A. Walker, British Embassy, Moscow 1931
In March 1933 the economic section of the Soviet secret police arrested six British engineers employed by the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company. The arrests provoked a confrontation that brought Anglo-Soviet relations to the brink of disaster and resurrected the spectre of the show trials and purges of the technical intelligentsia that had shaken Soviet society from 1928 to 1931.
Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution is the first full-length study of the Metro-Vickers’ show trial of 1933. Based upon some new and many underutilized Soviet and British sources, Gordon Morrell examines the political, economic, social, legal and cultural dimensions of the only Stalinist political trial of the 1930s that directly engaged a foreign power.
Morrell explores the roots of the crisis by analyzing Metro-Vickers’ role in the electrification of the USSR and he examines the political, economic and diplomatic relations between Britain and the Soviets that gave the crisis its international importance. He focusses on the efforts of the British Government to understand and respond to the new Stalinist order and, importantly, casts new light on the apparent role of the British Industrial Intelligence Centre during the early 1930s.
Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution is an accessible, original and multidimensional work that makes an important contribution to the study of Anglo-Soviet relations.
Stories from Mayerthorpe
In 1949, Margaret Norquay moved with her new husband, a minister with the United Church of Canada, to Mayerthorpe, in northern Alberta, a village in the centre of what was in those days a pioneer hinterland. Broad Is the Way is a collection of stories from their seven years there. Told with affection and gentle humour, the stories cover the challenges, heartaches, and delights of a young community and a minister and his wife in a very new marriage. Topics include the experience of orphan children sent to work on Western farms, manoeuvring for a restroom downtown for farmers’ wives in need of a place to change their babies while their husbands did business, dealing with the RCMP over liquor found in the church basement, and the generosity of spirit shown by the community to the Norquays. Throughout the book, Margaret Norquay’s indomitable spirit and determination are evident and illustrate her passionate belief in making positive change and having fun while doing it.
National Socialism in Canada
During the years 1933 to 1939, a pro-Nazi movement developed in Canada. With the support of the German National Socialist Party, Canadian pro-Nazi institutions were formed: clubs, rallies, schools, and newspapers. The movement ended in failure. The author analyzes the reasons for the formation and decline of the National Socialist Party in Canada, describing in the process the general characteristics of the German community in Canada, the extent of Nazi activity in this country, and the influence of the Canadian environment on the movement. The book, well researched and carefully documented, is an original contribution to Canadian history of the 1930s.
Contemporary Freemasonry, Meaning, and Society
Secret societies are becoming increasingly controversial—thrust into public awareness by popular books, films, the Internet, and a host of recent documentaries. In academia, this exposure finds a parallel in the proliferation of research, institutes, and conferences. Yet the media depictions tend to be caricatures, a playing to pervasive stereotypes for public consumption, while the academic stress historical and philological matters. Indeed, to the extent a sociological focus exists, it largely emphasizes the roles these groups played in social history. And for the societies’ members themselves, there has been a paucity of work on the contemporary meaning of these groups—a neglect made mystifying by the vast social changes that have taken place over the past century. In this study, and for the first time by any scholar, Kenney moves beyond history and applies the methods and theoretical tools of contemporary sociology to study the lived world of freemasons in today’s society.
To provide a clear portrait of the patterned experiences of contemporary freemasons and the issues faced by “the Craft” today, Kenney draws on qualitative data from three primary sources: (1) extensive interviews with 121 contemporary freemasons in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia; (2) video footage shot for a feature film on contemporary freemasonry; and (3) his observations and experiences in nearly fifteen years as a freemason. Brought to Light provides a highly original contribution to sociology, Masonic scholarship, and the social sciences generally.
Faith, Doubt, and Identity in Autobiography
Autobiographical impostures, once they come to light, appear to us as outrageous, scandalous. They confuse lived and textual identity (the person in the world and the character in the text) and call into question what we believe, what we doubt, and how we receive information. In the process, they tell us a lot about cultural norms and anxieties. Burdens of Proof: Faith, Doubt, and Identity in Autobiography examines a broad range of impostures in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and asks about each one: Why this particular imposture? Why here and now?
Susanna Egan’s historical survey of texts from early Christendom to the nineteenth century provides an understanding of the author in relation to the text and shows how plagiarism and other false claims have not always been regarded as the frauds we consider them today. She then explores the role of the media in the creation of much contemporary imposture, examining in particular the cases of Jumana Hanna, Norma Khouri, and James Frey. The book also addresses ethnic imposture, deliberate fictions, plagiarism, and ghostwriting, all of which raise moral, legal, historical, and cultural issues. Egan concludes the volume with an examination of how historiography and law failed to support the identities of European Jews during World War II, creating sufficient instability in Jewish identity and doubt about Jewish wartime experience that the impostor could step in. This textual erasure of the Jews of Europe and the refashioning of their experiences in fraudulent texts are examples of imposture as an outcrop of extreme identity crisis.
The first to examine these issues in North America and Europe, Burdens of Proof will be of interest to scholars of life writing and cultural studies. </p
A Study in Whig Orthodoxy
Edmund Burke claimed to be a practical politician, rather than a theorist. Nevertheless, says the author, Burke held consistent political principles which form a coherent political theory. By examining concepts such as natural laws, natural society, civil society, and history in Burke’s speeches and writings, the author comes to some conclusions about Burke’s political theory and its relation to commonly accepted eighteenth-century political doctrines. Succinct and balanced, this study will be of particular interest to political theorists and historians.
The Poetry of Dennis Cooley
Dennis Cooley, one of Canada’s most prominent poets, says writing becomes political when you play with certain kinds of voices. His poetry has been influenced and inspired by the prairies and other Canadian poets, but he insists on disturbing the formal poetic inheritance he esteems. His engagement with a variety of speaking voices asks that readers question authority and challenge institutional privilege. In By Word of Mouth, a collection from across his career, readers will discover how Cooley returns to the prairie vernacular and speaks to Canadian identity. Poetry, says Cooley, is about our time and our place.
Nicole Markotić’s introductory essay discusses how Dennis Cooley plays with poetic reference, inspires with syntactical surprises, parodies contemporary writing, and indulges in wild, celebratory puns. This book roams around Dennis Cooley’s poetical world and invites the reader to play along.
When first published in 1970, Cabbagetown Diary’s rowdy concoction of grit and violence and rooming-house sleaze had a strongly polarizing effect on its readers. Many admired the frankness of Butler’s depiction of a sordid environment, and others deplored the obscenity of the language and the dangerous and careless ways in which his characters behave, bent as they are on downward self-transcendence. But Cabbagetown Diary was undeniably a promising debut by a young writer whose brash tone and pungent subject matter were unique in Canadian writing at that time.
The novel takes the form of a diary written by a disaffected young Toronto bartender, Michael, over the course of his four-month liaison with Terry, a naive teenager who is new to the city. Michael introduces her to his friends and his inner-city haunts, to drink and drugs, and to the nihilist politics espoused by some in his circle. With hard-bitten cynicism and flashes of dark humour, Michael relates the vicissitudes of their summer together.
This reissue of Cabbagetown Diary includes a biographical sketch by Charles Butler Mackay and an afterword by Tamas Dobozy.
French Protestant Responses to the Algerian War, 1954-1962
Initially, when the government in Paris responded with force to the November 1, 1954 insurrection of Algerian nationalists, French public opinion offered all but unanimous support. Then it was revealed that hundreds of thousands of Muslims were herded into resettlement camps in Algeria; that Algerians suspected of nationalist sympathies were imprisoned in France; that conscientious objectors were denied their rights; and that a resolution to the conflict, either by force or by peaceful methods, was not forthcoming. When it was proven that the army was guilty of abuses, members of the Protestant minority protested and then laboured to educate their own communities as well as the public at large to the moral and spiritual perils of these actions.
Based on painstaking research and solid scholarship, The Call of Conscience: French Protestant Responses to the Algeria War, 1954-1962 reveals a rich portrait of the protest.
Possibilities for Effective Multilateralism
In this book, leading international relations experts and practitioners examine through theory and case study the prospect for successful multilateral management of the global economy and international security. In the theory section contributors tackle the big questions: Why is there an apparent rising tide of calls for reform of current multilateral organizations and institutions? Why are there growing questions over the effectiveness of global governance? Is the reform of current organizations and institutions likely or possible? Case studies include the examination of difficulties facing global development, the challenges facing the IMF and the governance of global finance, the problems of the UN 2005 World Summit and its failed reform, and the WTO and the questions raised by the prolonged Doha Development Round.
Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation