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Fool For Christ

Fool For Christ: The Intellectual Politics of J.S. Woodsworth

Allen Mills
Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 324
  • Book Info
    Fool For Christ
    Book Description:

    In a crucial period between the World Wars, Woodsworth helped define the character of the modern Canadian, non-Marxist Left and of many of Canada's important economic and social institutions.

    Disclaimer: Quotes by T.S. Eliot, F.R. Scott, and Louis MacNeice removed at the request of the rights holder.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2335-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  6. 1 Son of the Church: 1874–1909
    (pp. 3-37)

    ‘The Great Lone Land’ seemed to him empty and wild.¹ Empty because there were few white settlers; wild because what inhabitants lived there were Indians. The immigration of large numbers of whites from Ontario to Manitoba had begun to transform the social complexion of the prairies. But in the great land beyond Manitoba, in the territories reaching westward to the Rockies, there was still nothing but Indians, increasingly living on reserves, with a few garrisons of white settlers and, here and there, a lonely, intrepid missionary.

    The Reverend James Woodsworth had come west in 1882 to Portage la Prairie as...

  7. 2 Setting Sail, 1909–1921
    (pp. 38-95)

    Measured at least by frequency of public utterance, Whitman’s stanza from ‘Passage to India’ inLeaves of Grasswas Woodsworth’s most beloved piece of poetry. It conveys well the mixture of innocent abandon and impetuous optimism that marked his life between 1909 and 1921. In these years he moved away from the Methodist Church, continuing in the more secular direction that had begun with his decision to become superintendent of All Peoples’ Mission in 1907. In 1913 he would became director of the Canadian Welfare League, and three years later the head of the Bureau of Social Research. In these...

  8. 3 Politics, Parliament, and Revolution, 1922–1940
    (pp. 96-148)

    The image of life as a train journey was particularly apposite to Woodsworth. On his election to the House of Commons in December 1921, he gathered up his wife and children from British Columbia and settled them in Ottawa. Later, in 1925, he set up domestic headquarters in Winnipeg, first at 67 Chestnut Street and then at 60 Maryland. Each year he would journey to Ottawa for the new session of the House which usually began in January and lasted until June or July. On weekends he would make speaking trips to places in eastern Canada. During the recess he...

  9. 4 Economics, Cooperation, and Socialism, 1922–1940
    (pp. 149-187)

    Canada’s economic performance in the inter-war years, as with most economies at the time, fell into two markedly discordant parts: the 1920s were generally buoyant and the 19305 scandalously depressed. In Canada, as elsewhere, economic expansion had resumed in 1895 and had continued until the eve of the First World War. In these years the burgeoning vitality of the prairie wheat economy had confounded even the greatest sceptic: immigrants had poured in, wheat prices had been high, two new national railway systems had been built and, with the increased use of machinery, farm productivity had leapt ahead. Whatever trends were...

  10. 5 Canada, Its Peoples, and the World: Identity and Security, 1918–1939
    (pp. 188-249)

    Woodsworth often claimed that wars never resolved conflict, and that one war only made another one inevitable. Whatever can be made of these judgments when applied to the general course of human history, the particular years between 1914 and 1939 revealed them to be remarkably apposite. The First World War seemed to solve little more than who would be the victors and who the vanquished. In the other matters that the victors tried to resolve, they only stoked the fires of the next conflagration. The allies of the Triple Entente held Germany and Austro-Hungary responsible for the war. Austro-Hungary was...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 250-260)

    September 1939 was the end. At the CCF National Council meeting Woodsworth offered his resignation as council president, parliamentary house leader, and member of the party. It was not accepted. But he had ceased to be the de facto leader of the party; certainly that was how he saw it. He soldiered on, however. Never in especially good health, he had driven his body as though it were a beast of burden for all his working life. In his later years he was subject to high blood pressure and in the late 19305 he suffered a small stroke. T.C. Douglas...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 261-286)
  13. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 287-291)
  14. Credits
    (pp. 292-292)
  15. Index
    (pp. 293-301)