Working People in Alberta
360 pages, 10 1/2 x 9
colour photos throughout
Release Date:01 Feb 2012

Working People in Alberta

A History

Athabasca University Press

Working People in Alberta traces the history of labour inAlberta from the period of First Nations occupation to the present.Drawing on over two hundred interviews with labour leaders, activists,and ordinary working people, as well as on archival records, the volumegives voice to the people who have toiled in Alberta over thecenturies. In so doing, it seeks to counter the view of Alberta as aone-class, one-party, one-ideology province, in which distinctionsbetween those who work and those who own are irrelevant. Workers fromacross the generations tell another tale, of an ongoing collectivestruggle to improve their economic and social circumstances in the faceof a dominant, exploitative elite. Their stories are set within asequential analysis of provincial politics and economics, supplementedby chapters on women and the labour movement and on minority workers ofcolour and their quest for social justice.

Published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the AlbertaFederation of Labour, Working People in Alberta contrasts thestories of workers who were union members and those who were not. Inits depictions of union organizing drives, strikes, and working-classlife in cities and towns, this lavishly illustrated volume creates acomposite portrait of the men and women who have worked to build andsustain the province of Alberta.

Alvin Finkel is a professor of Canadian history atAthabasca University, where he has taught since 1978. Best known as theco-author (with Margaret Conrad) of the two-volume History of theCanadian Peoples, his main areas of research and teaching are thehistory of social policy, labour history, and Western Canadian history.


Introduction: Those Who Built Alberta / Alvin Finkel

1     Millennia ofNative Work / Alvin Finkel

2     The Fur Trade andEarly European Settlement / Alvin Finkel

3     One Step Forward:Alberta Workers 1885–1914 / Jim Selby

4     War, Repression,and Depression, 1914–1939 / Eric Strikwerda and AlvinFinkel

5     Alberta Labourand Working-Class Life, 1940–1959 / James Muir

6     The BoomersBecome the Workers: Alberta, 1960–1980 / AlvinFinkel

7     Alberta Labour inthe 1980s / Winston Gereluk

8     Revolution,Retrenchment, and the New Normal: The 1990s and Beyond / JasonFoster

9     Women, Labour,and the Labour Movement / Joan Schiebelbein

10    Racialization and Work / Jennifer Kelly and Dan Cui

Conclusion: A History to Build Upon / Alvin Finkel





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