When Freedom Was Lost
The Unemployed, the Agitator, and the State

Brown, Lorne
Publisher:  Black Rose Books, Montreal, Canada
Year Published:  1987
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6637

The struggles of unemployed workers against the Canadian state in the 1930s.

When Freedom Was Lost is a historical account of the condition of Canadian workers during the Great Depression and, their efforts to defend their rights. The book contains stories of individuals interwoven into a more general account of the situation at that time. It describes how thousands of unemployed workers were coerced into work camps and made to work like animals on major government projects in exchange for "poor food, mass shelter, and a few pennies a day." The book follows the struggles of these workers, and the strategies and tactics adopted by the organized unemployed which laid the foundations for the organization of "the great industrial unions of the late 1930's and beyond." The role played by the government, and the ways in which it has exploited such workers, is highlighted. When Freedom Was Lost describes, amongst other things, the beginning of the massive levels of unemployment, the setting up of relief camps, conflicts within these camps, mass walkouts , the Regina Riot, and the political repercussions of this riot. The book contains some photographs.

Lorne Brown teaches Political Science at the University of Regina and is the co-author of An Unauthorized History of the RCMP.

[Abstract by Nabeeha Chaudhary]

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