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From Left to Right: Maternalism and Women's Political Activism in Postwar Canada

From Left to Right: Maternalism and Women's Political Activism in Postwar Canada

by Brian T. Thorn


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In From Left to Right, Brian Thorn explores what motivated Canadian women to become politically engaged in the 1940s and ’50s. Although women in these decades are often depicted as being trapped in the suburbs, they joined diverse political parties, including the CCF, Social Credit, and the Communist Party of Canada. Thorn argues, controversially, that while women on the “left” and “right” had different goals, their activism continued to be informed by maternalism. They used their roles as wives and mothers to influence their parties’ positions and break down barriers. Along the way, they laid the foundations for the 1960s feminist movement.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780774832090
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
Publication date: 12/20/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Brian T. Thorn teaches in the Departments of English and History at Nipissing University.

Table of Contents

1. Women No Longer Need Fear Want or Illness: Women on the Left
2. Ladies, Let Us Hold High the Banner of Social Credit! Women on the Right
3. Peace Is the Concern of Every Mother: Communist and Social Democratic Women’s Anti-War Activism
4. Traveling Bags for Their Trip to Russia: Social Credit Women Campaign for Peace
5. The Well-Being of the Home Depends on the Well-Being of the Union: Women-Only Organizations
6. Healthy Activity and Worthwhile Ideas: Confronting Juvenile Delinquency
Appendix: Brief Biographies

What People are Saying About This

Julie Guard

By comparing the roles and efforts of women who belonged not only to left-wing parties but also to the right wing, Brian Thorn offers a new and useful perspective on women’s political activism during the postwar decades.

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