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472 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW The Dilemma of CanadianSocialism: The C.C.F. in Ontario.G•.x•A•.r> •.. CAI•.•N. Toronto,McClellandand Stewart,x973.Pp. 208,$3.95. During the I96OS it wasquitecommon in Canadianhistorical circles to point out thatasconceived of up to then,Canadianhistory hadbeenlargelysynonymouswith Canadianpoliticaland constitutional history.An examinationof publishers' listsand undergraduate calendars sincethat timewill showthat this situation haschanged co,nsiderably asvarious aspects of Canadiansocial history receiveincreasingattention.Despitethe ebb and flow of generalhistorical fashion,however, one factor remainsconstant.Too little attention has been paid to the politicalhistoryof the individualprovinces and verylittle indeed to that of Ontario. That thisshouldbe the casewith the historyof the most populous province in a federalstatemightseem mildlysurprising. Whateverthe cause of thisdeficiency it will no doubtbelargelycorrected by theprovinciallysponsored Historyof Ontarioseries whichiscurrently in preparation. However, with the publicationof The Dilemma of CanadianSocialism:The C.C.F. in Ontario,a significant steptowardfillinga part of the gapin ourknowledge of the province's politicalhistoryhasalreadybeentaken. Professor Caplan'sstudy,a revision of workdonefor an Ma at Torontosome yearsago,recounts thoseturbulentdaysin the x93osand early4oswhenit seemed at leastpossible that Ontario might havethe firstsocialist government in North America.Startingwith a close account of thegrowthanddevelopment of thepartyasa response to depression conditions, Caplan,using bothpartyand publicsources, traces theriseof theccFin Ontarioduringtheearlyandmid3os ,itsfall into limbobeforethewar, anditsdramaticresurgence heralded by Joseph Noseworthy's victoryoverMeighenin the x942 York Southby-election. Alsochronicled are the initial surprise, enthusiasm, and the growingsense of inevitabletriumph with which the faithful greetedthe party'sbecoming the officialopposition in the i943 provincial election. Of at leastequalinterestis Professor Caplan'sreconstruction of the vigorous anti-socialist campaign wagedbya section of thebusiness community after x943. Reader'sDigest thoughtfullycondensed 'free enterprise'polemicalwritings. Radiobroadcasts, large-scale directmailings, a series ofnewspaper advertisements sponsored by 'PublicInformationAssociations,' and evena quizbased on an anti-socialist tractwereall usedto discredit whatwerepresumed to,bethephilosophy andultimategoals oftheccF.The content of thiscampaign seems today particularly crude andprimitive butit wasundoubtedly onefactor intherelative declinein supportfor the partybetweenthe elections of x943 and i945. Froma present viewpoint perhaps themostinteresting section of thebookis thatdevoted tothefamous 'Gestapo' charges against theDrewgovernment made byccvleader E.B.Jolliffe ontheeveofthex945election. Theauthor isthorough andimpartialin siftingthrough testimony givento theRoyalCommission appointed toinvestigate thecharges andinexamining thecommission's subsequent report. Although thisreportexonerated boththepremier andattorney-general of theprovince, majorquestions remained unanswered. Thefacts seem toindicatethat at the time a secret politicalsection existed withintheOntarioPro- REVIEWS 473 vincialPolice;thisgroupfunctioned at leastin part asa paid organization for politicalsurveillance of opposition politicians; the effortsof individualsin this groupwereusedto keeptheprovincial government in power.Clearlythewhole storyof thisratherbizarreepisode in Ontario historydid not comeout at the time, nor hasit since.To the questioncould Watergate'happenhere, one is tempted toanswer thatit mayhavehappened herefirst. A few reservations remain. One can wish that more use had been made of oral evidence in describing, for instance, the 'Gestapo'charges incident.Interviewswereconducted by the authorbut the type.of materialthat addscolour and life to the historical account and that can often be obtained from oral evidenceis missing from partsof the bookwhereit mightwith benefithavebeen used.An exampleis the fact that the readercomesaway with no clear impression of E.B. Jolliffe.Leaders mayhavecounted for less in the ccF thanin otherparties,but ! suspect Jolliffewasa moreimportantand probablya more sytnpathetic figurethanisportrayed here. Anothercriticism hasto do with thebook'stitle. !t usedto be saidthat you couldnot judgea bookby itscover.!t isevidentthat identifyinga book'scontentfromitstitlecanalsobea riskybusiness. Despitea three-page section in the last chapter,this bookhasverylittle to do with The Dilemma of Canadian Socialism; it haseverything to do with The C.C.F. in Ontario.The point is that thatisquiteenough. A study of theOntarioccFcanstandonitsownmerits and an interesting chapterin Ontario historyneed not be justifiedthrough references to its nation-widesignificance. !t remainsthat this is an interesting bookthat makesa contributionof substance to Ontario history. R.M. ALWAY Universityof Toronto BRITAIN AND THE COMMONWEALTH Freedom, Corruption and Government in Elizabethan England.jowl. HURSTVXE •.D. Cambridge, Mass., HarvardUniversity Press, I973.Pp.368.$I I.oo. Thiscollection of previously scattered essays isa welcome contribution froma distinguished scholar, butit isnotwithoutitsdrawbacks. Professor Hurstfield is eminently qualified to examine thematerial in question, butthematerial itself israther heterogeneous. Threeofthebook's eleven papers liealtogether outside theElizabethan period, another one-third onlyincludes it, andtheremaining thirdisexactly onit. One must query thetitleforanother reason; whatistheconnection between freedom andcorruption? 'Freedom andauthority,' yes. 'Corruption andefficiency,' yes. Butwhy'freedom andcorruption'? Oneistempted tosay thatthearticles have littlein common except theirperiod(I53o-I64o, nottheElizabethan era...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 472-473
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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