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Book Reviews 419 Conservative grain merchant and McKay a Marxist seafarer, and though one died (1883) about the same time as the other was born (1876), both were highly religious, highly prolific, largely forgotten writers on . sociology and on political economy who carried on careers in other fields. Both, curiously enough, also favoured versions of the labour theory of value, and wrote hundreds of articles praising 'the labour power' while condemning 'the money power.' · The tragedy of the lives of such writers is that their uncompromising opposition to laissez-faire has relegated their contributions to almost total oblivion. As Ian McKay so eloquently points out in his afterword, 'what passes for advanced political thought today ... [is] a vulgar rehash of the worst banalities of nineteenth-century social thought' (496). Unfortunately, only the fifty or so people currently interested in the history of early Canadian socialism will ever be inclined to read this magnificent book. KEVIN HENLEY Universite du Quebec aMontreal For the People: A History of St Francis Xavier University. JAMES D. CAMERON. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press 1996. Pp. xx, 551, illus. $39·95 After its initial two-year temporary home in the 'foggy, damp climate' of Acadian Arichat, and partly to bolster Bishop Colin MacKinnon's claim to the seven counties of eastern Nova Scotia, St FX opened its doors in Antigonish in September 1855 with a 'scholarly grace and priestly tone.' At the time there was a 'crying need for a steady supply of dependable and locally trained native priests' for the Gaels from Scotland, a problem compounded by the presence in the area of 'clerical adventurers.' James Cameron offers up some solid social history in this detailed study of one of the more significant institutions to influence eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island in the past 140 years. St FX's mission would not alter for generations, and Cameron captures the insular nature of the institution and the individuals who whirled around Antigonish. For Rev. Dr John Cameron, the second rector/ president (1855-8) and bishop (1877-1910), 'godless education is a fiendish monster which ought to be exposed in all its hideous and souldestroying deformity.' Bishop James Morrison's later dealings with the thorny issue of a regional university were guided by his concern with the 'Protestant mentality' and the usual turf considerations. Also, Rev. Dr Patrick J. Nicholson, president of the university from 1944 to 1954, was forthright in his approach: 'We find it more desirable to have 420 The Canadian Historical Review poorly qualified men who get along well with us than top notch scholars whose influence might be in the directioh of disharmony.' Not until 1969-70 was the intellectual development of students stated to be a 'principal objective.' The last 'priest-professor' retired in 1996. Cameron traces the history 1 of an institution with few financial resources (the majority of its students were from the diocese and their numerical stronghold was in the battered economic heartland of industrial Cape Breton), its early role in coeducation, the contributions of the nuns - the Sisters of St Martha and the Congregation of Notre Dame - and its thrust beyond its academic walls with the Extension Department and the Antigonish Movement. One of his strengths is to give us a sense of the individuals who contributed to the institution, in his discussion of various ecclesiastical, political, and educational controversies. There was consternation when the first rector, Rev. Dr John Schulte, the 'Prussian priest-professor,' fell into apostasy, and it increased when Bishop MacKinnon failed to ·· 'bring him "back to sanity" and Antigonish,' although this was an exception to an 'otherwise unassailable record of loyalty to Rome by the college's priestpresidents .' Then there was the clash between Bishop Cameron, a staunch Conservative, and university rector Rev. Dr Neil MacNeil, who, as editor of the Casket, tried a policy of 'strict neutrality' on political reporting; Cameron's political loyalties 'seduced him into abandoning reason for prejudice,' and the 'gifted' MacNeil lost both positions. Soon thereafter, Rev. Dr Alexander M. Thompson, rector and founder of the School of Applied Science, was described by long-time professor Rev. Dr Alex MacDonald as 'a full-fledged...


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