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Book Reviews 187 'penny-capitalist' projects to supplement their wages cannot substantiate that claim, since they rarely held out the potential for launching fullfledged entrepreneurship. Instead, one could argue that the failure of collective action could reflect deep cynicism or fatalism about the prospects for social change (dispelled for a few years during and following the First World War), or a still strong attachment to the older notion of capitalist paternalism - that hard work, loyalty, and respect for authority in the workplace and in politics would bring an adequate measure of economic security. These possibilities are not explored in the book. There is a great deal of insightful discussion of many aspects of workers' lives here, and the careful dissection of the Calgary labour movement is particularly rewarding. Yet the study remains hobbled by its rigid conceptual framework, without which a subtler, more nuanced presentation might have been possible. CRAIG HERON York University Academic Freedom in Canada: A History. MICHIEL HORN. Toronto: University ofToronto Press 1999· Pp. xvi, 446. $39·95 By all accounts, University ofAlberta biochemist George Hunter (FRSC, 1933) was a bothersome academic who annoyed administrators and colleagues alike. In 1940 he was ordered by the university's board of governors to account for what an RCMP informant claimed were his radical political musings in the last lecture ofthe term. Hunter survived this interrogation and promised not to lecture on similar lines again. In 1949 he was not so fortunate. An Edmonton journal reporter told a university official that Hunter had made 'remarks which seemed to support views more commonly associated with the Soviet Union and members ofthe Communist Party.' Hunter had denounced the dropping ofthe atomic bomb, predicted that the formation ofNATO would provoke a war, and encouraged his students to advance the cause ofpeace. He believed that his students should think about the social implications ofthe science they were learning. For his sins, he was fired and never taught in a university again, though he did find work in an English laboratory. This is one ofa number ofstories told compellingly by Michiel Hom in his important new book on the history of academic freedom in Canada. It focuses on the period from the late nineteenth century to the early 1960s when, following the dismissal of Harry Crowe from United College in Winnipeg, Canadian academics (finally) organized to protect themselves from arbitrary treatment by university administrations. 188 The Canadian Historical Review A number ofthe cases that Hom describes are well known, owing in part to the author's previous research and publications. The ousting of social democrats Eugene Forsey and Leonard Marsh from McGill, and the threatened dismissal of Frank Underhill from the University of Toronto in the early 1940s occupy, logically, a prominent place in the book. Less notorious but equally serious were the earlier cases oftheologians Salem Bland and George Workman, who were driven out of academia because they had the gall to indulge in 'higher criticism,' a scholarly approach that questioned the literal truth ofthe Bible. That Hom did not uncover a litany of such incidents in the first half of the twentieth century underlines one of his themes. The academic freedom of professors was constrained by acts of commission and omission. The most obvious threats came from governments, business leaders, and university administrators who forbade professors to engage in oppositional politics. Even the relatively liberal-minded Robert Falconer , president ofthe University ofToronto from 1907 to 1932, believed that faculty should not raise 'burning political questions' which might incite the wrath of politicians and the community, something quickly discovered by those who criticized capitalism and British foreign policy. Nor should universities 'tolerate an erratic or even provocative teacher' who could disturb the order of the institution. Loyalty, respectability, deference, good (manly) character were core values that Canadian universities sought to teach their largely middle-class students, and professors had to set an example. Significantly, because most faculty shared the dominant values of their institutions, they did not feel muzzled by these largely unwritten rules. Socialists would not be hired, and those who slipped through the entry barriers either got into trouble or kept quiet. Of course, Jews, women, and people of colour were virtually...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 187-190
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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