Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prelude to Québec’s Quiet Revolution (1985) - review

Behiels, Michael D. Prelude to Québec’s Quiet Revolution: Liberalism versus Neo-Nationalism, 1945-1960. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1985.

            Behiels begins his text by describing the economic and demographic changes that occurred within Québec society during the late 1940s and 1950s. The society was changing from one that was largely rural and agricultural to one where the majority of the population lived in cities and resource industry towns. As a result of their new urban existence, Québecers were also being exposed to the larger North American community to which the trade and industry, that had drawn them to the urban centres by offering jobs, were intimately connected. However, the jobs offered were not the leading positions in those sectors, but typically positions below the post of manager. Thus, while increasing working for the industrial and commercial sector, French-Canadians did not hold positions of control. Rather, control was largely in the hands of English-Canadian, American, and British companies, who tended to hire English-speakers to run their Québec operations. The result was that, although the majority in their province, French-Canadians were largely kept in positions of economic and social inferiority, with little hope of advancement in an economic environment controlled by the English population of the province and outside interests.
            Rather than encourage domestic control of local industry and the economic advancement of Quebecers, the Union Nationale provincial government and its leader, Maurice Duplessis, seemed to only encourage economic domination by non-French-Canadian interests. The provincial government recognizing that many of the industries, controlled by both the local English-speaking population and English-speaking outsiders, offered much needed jobs to its supporters. To not support the continued expansion of the province’s industry, particularly the exploitation of natural resources, over which the province held jurisdiction, by outside interests, could lead to job losses, and in turn, the fall of the Duplessis regime. This lack of resistance to outside economic forces, meant that French-Canadians had little or no protection against non-French Canadian social and linguistic challenges to their traditional way of life. The only institution which offered any kind of cultural and linguistic protection was the Catholic church. However, the church was itself reluctant to offer any new solutions to the growing economic and social pressures being placed upon French-Canadians. The church had gained its position of prominence in the province by encouraging the continuation of the traditional rural and agricultural lifestyle, where local curés were often understood to be the most educated and wisest individuals in the community and where the church held control over the formation and care of the citizenry, through its control of education, the hospitals, and most other areas of social welfare. To encourage the citizenry to take control of the province and not only participate in the industrial and urban society, but to manipulate it to their own ends, could very well undermine the authority of the church in deciding the best interests of the population, authority which was often used by the church to reinforce its central and guiding role in the lives of the citizenry.
            While not offering a very original portrayal of Québec society during the late 1940s and 1950s, what is original about Behiels text is his argument that the social revolution of the 1960s, which overthrew the Duplessis regime and rejected the church as the only, or even the primary, institution that could be used to protect and further the individual and cultural interests of the citizens, had its roots in two different groups of intellectuals, writing and acting so as to further the position of the Québec population during the late 1940s and 1950s. These two groups were what he terms the neo-nationalists and the Citélibrists. In addition to simply holding a more worldly view than most French-Canadians, a perspective from which they were able to recognize how their province was being exploited by both outside economic interests and the ruling elite, the members of these two groups were greatly influenced by the personalism of French Catholic intellectuals such as Emmanuel Mounier and Jacques Maritain, the Catholic philosopher whose ideas had led to progressive Catholicism in France. Like the personalists, both the neo-nationalists and the Citélibrists called for a transformation of Quebec society, where the state, church, and industry did not conspire to maintain a cheap and compliant workforce, but where an increasingly secular state was used to advance the interests and standard of living of the population. This accorded with Mounier’s third way, a reaction to both capitalism and communism, neither of which paid sufficient attention to the individual, protected his/her rights and freedoms, or worked to expand the opportunities of all people as much as possible. Instead, for Mounier, communism places the interests of the collectivity above those of the individual, while capitalism protects the rights, freedoms, and opportunities of individuals to freely participate in the market economy, paying no attention to differing social and/or economic conditions which could hinder an individuals’ ability to participate or excel in that market economy.
            The neo-nationalists, unlike their nationalist predecessors, such as Lionel Groulx, advocated an abandonment of traditional French-Canadian nationalism and its adherence to the three pillars of agriculturalism, anti-statism, and messianism. Recognizing that the working class was, by the 1950s, the largest social class in the province, and that it was living an increasingly secular and urban existence, these neo-nationalists, who included individuals such as André Laurendeau and Gérard Filion, were arguing for greater state intervention so as to ensure that services would be guaranteed which would allow French-Canadians to not only participate more easily in the existing market economy which was the focus of the Western world, but to regulate that market economy in areas where it threatened particular aspects of French-Canadian society. However, it was just how much and in what ways the government was to be used to intervene in the laisser-faire, economically driven, society that the views of the neo-nationalists differed from their intellectual rivals, the Citélibrists. While advocating a socialist and democratic state, the neo-nationalists placed particular importance upon the protection of French-Canadian culture and language. They believed that it was possible and desirable to merge the teachings of Mounier with French-Canadian nationalism so as to create a nationalist and socialist state where French-Canadian culture and language would be protected while allowing French-Canadians to develop their individualism and spiritualism to the greatest extent possible. During the 1940s and 50s these neo-nationalists forwarded their arguments through organs such as Action nationale and Le Devoir.
            In contrast to the neo-nationalists, the group which Behiels describes as the liberals, or Citélibrists, held that one cannot merge nationalism with personalism, and to do so would only lead to the creation of a thoroughly non-personalist state, and possibly a fascist one. To be driven by a nationalist agenda, rather than simply the furthering of the rights and opportunities of the individual, is to create a socialist state which defines those who deserve to have their rights and opportunities protected according to a preconceived notion of what the state should be like. By wanting to ensure the French-Canadian character of Québec, the neo-nationalists were not advocating the creation of a state where all individuals could pursue their needs and desires to the greatest extent possible without infringing upon others’ ability to do the same. Rather, they were promoting the creation of a state where one could pursue one’s needs and desires to the greatest extent possible, so long as those needs and desires did not conflict, in the eyes of the provincial government, with traditional French-Canadian culture and language. Through their periodical, Cité libre, which was circulated on a very small scale, the journal’s co-editors, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Gérard Pelletier, along with other contributors, argued that such a mixture of nationalism and socialism may result in a society which protects citizens from exploitation by outside interests, but would also likely lead to a state which maintained a very restrictive and unjust definition of a proper citizen.
            Thus, while sharing the desire to create a welfare state and overthrow the Duplessis regime, Behiels depicts the difference between the visions of the neo-nationalist and the Citélibrists to have been one of scope, with the former wishing to create such a society that would be limited to French-Canadians while the later advocated a pluralistic non-nationalist society that would take whatever shape those within it chose while ensuring hat everyone has the rights and freedoms to shape the society as they wished. While the neo-nationalists were able to attempt to create their society at the provincial level, especially with and after the 1962 Québec election, the Citélibrists were eventually able to act through the federal government. However, one should note, as does Behiels, that the Citélibrists, with the exception of Pierre Vadeboncoeur, did not envision the demise of French-Canadian society with the realization of their version of a personalist state. Instead, they believed that, if all individuals, including French-Canadians, were offered the rights, freedoms, and opportunities to do or think whatever they wished, then French-Canadians would be completely free to practice their culture and speak their language. All that the Citélibrists rejected was the neo-nationalists’ desire to either force non-French-Canadians to adopt French-Canada’s culture and language, or to exclude individuals who were not born into French-Canadian society from being considered true members of Québec society.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The beaver bites back?: American popular culture in Canada (1993) - review

The beaver bites back?: American popular culture in Canada. eds. David H. Flaherty and Frank E. Manning, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993.

The purpose of this collection of essays was to examine how Canadians view and consume American culture. While Canadians consume, alter, and react to elements of American Culture, the editor, David Flaherty, argues that there has been little work done on examining how these processes have and do occur. The closest approximation to such a field of study is folklore. However, as of the book's publication in 1993, departments of folklore only existed at Memorial and Laval universities, where researchers study their local cultures, which are some of the cultures of Canada which are least affected by American culture. While the editor suggests that the lack of formal study of the influence of American popular culture upon Canadians might be explained by Canadians having accepted such foreign cultural products as their own, he also argues that such a conclusion is too simplistic since it ignores how many Canadians only selectively adopt elements of American culture, and those which they do adopt is often altered or reinterpreted for popular Canadian consumption.

The book's contributions examines the effects of American culture upon Canada by focusing upon 1) its transmission through the print and broadcast media, as well as live performances of sport, entertainment, religious evangelical events, and other performances; 2) its influence upon Canada's own popular culture; 3) and various Canadian responses to American cultural products and events.

Unfortunately, nowhere in the preface to the text does the author address the issue of the exclusivity of his notion of "Canadian culture." The reader must assume that Flaherty's idea and examples of popular Canadian culture are largely those of English-Canada and its interpretation of American culture. Furthermore, he does not address unique regional interpretations of American culture within English-Canada. While he does recognize that regional cultural differences exist in Canada through his reference to the regionally specific folklore studies programs at Laval and Memorial, regional Canadian interpretations and reinterpretations of American cultural products is not a major concern of the text, although it is touched upon by several of the contributors. Instead, the editor, and thus the organization of the text, assumes, possibly unconsciously, that popular Canadian culture is homogeneous and directed by English-Canadian forces of cultural production, most of which are situated in Ontario.

In the introduction the second editor of the text, Frank Manning, argues that Canadian interpretations of American culture are often neither unquestioning nor irrationally negative. Rather, he views Canadian consumption and reinterpretation of American cultural products as often a creative means of both borrowing elements  which are useful to the Canadian experience and subvert the power and hegemony of the American source. This interpretation and manipulation of American culture, Manning argues, can be understood as a form of resistance to American cultural domination. This contradicts the traditional view of many Canadian commentators that American culture will eventually overrun Canadian culture. Rather, according to Manning, the very presence and threat of American cultural hegemony fuels the strength and creativity of Canadian popular culture. Writing soon after the introduction of the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement of 1988, Manning stresses that, unlike in the United States, which is typically apolitical, popular culture in Canada is highly political and an expression of national sovereignty. The politically motivated support and defense of Canadian culture, as well as the uniquely Canadian ways in which American culture is interpreted, ridiculed, and parodied, are, according to Manning, the means by which the Beaver Bites Back.

In describing the contributions of several of the volume's authors, Manning does concede that Canada does have regional differences, and that Canadians in different regions consume and react to American culture in different ways. Bernard Ostry, for example, argues that Canada's cultural strength is dependent upon its regional and ethnic cultural differences. Similarly, Stuart Adam argues that there is not one Canadian culture but many, and that "Canadian culture" is the expression of the country's many cultural groups through different media and public events. However, Manning then appears to conflate regionalism with multiculturalism, claiming it to be a "Canadian value" along with "state capitalism, social democracy, middle-class morality, regional identities,... the True North, the parliamentary system, institutionalized compromise, international neutrality, and so on." (p 8).  This interpretation in itself suggests a hegemonic set of values which are accepted by almost all Canadians. However, in the almost twenty years since the book was published, there have been many significant examples of different groups of Canadians rejecting many of these "Canadian values." Thus, one could argue that the notion that such values are essentially Canadian may have been a reflection of either ideology, or a cultural and political bias (a southern Ontario Liberal/1980s and 90s Progressive Conservative bias).

This English-Canadian/southern Ontario bias is continued throughout the rest of Manning's introduction and much of the collection as a whole. In discussing Feldthusen's essay on the Canadian television industry, Canadian content regulations, and the influence and extent of American television programming viewed by Canadians on both American and Canadian television channels, little mention is made of French-Canada, its significant television industry, and how it consumes American programming. In addition, in the discussion of the production of Canadian content, nothing is said of regional programming. The assumption of both Manning and Feldthusen appears to be that Canadian programming is a reflection of the culture of all Canadians, and that one's Canadian culture is protected through both its creation and broadcast. There is no mention of the possibility that centrally produced "Canadian culture" itself could contribute to the homogenization of Canadian society, threatening the multiculturalism/cultural regionalism which Manning claims to be so distinctively Canadian. This bias is again obvious in his discussion of Andrew Lyons and Harriet Lyons essay on the differences between American and Canadian evangelical television, as well as Mary Jane Miller's contribution on cultural differences between L.A. Law and Street Legal. These examples assume that the perspectives of the southern Ontario writers and producers of these programs reflect general Canadian perspectives, and that the influence of American culture, and the differences between American culture and such representations of Canadian culture, says something about Canada as a whole.

While the manipulation and reconfiguration of American cultural influences are discussed in Michael Taft's essay on Canadian popular music and Charline Poirier's essay on burlesque entertainment in Quebec, their position in the collection is to serve as examples which support the English/liberal/southern Ontario bias of Canadian culture outlined by Manning in the introduction. While offering examples of uniquely French-Canadian appropriations of elements of American culture, the appropriation and manipulation of that culture is understood to be a Canadian characteristic. It is obvious that French-Canada, which is linguistically different from the United States, is less directly challenged by the hegemony of American popular culture. Thus, it is difficult to see how the use of elements of American culture for French-Canadian cultural ends is a rebellion against Americanization in the same way it would be for an English-Canadian in southern Ontario.

This reflects the theme running through all of the contributions to the collection: that Canadian culture did not evolve on its own, but has largely been the result of an interaction with the culture of the United States. As Manning argues in his introduction, while Canadians are not Americans, they are also not not Americans. This distinction is made to explain how Canadians are probably the non-American population which is most like, and most familiar with, American culture. However, this assumption of closeness, of the compulsion to consume, and the compulsion to transform and borrow from American culture to make something distinctly Canadian, is more distinctive of some Canadian communities than others. Whereas cultural differences between many English-Canadians living close to the American border might be difficult for the external observer to recognize, differences are more apparent in more remote areas of the country or where linguistic barriers exist. The provinces studied by the Laval and Memorial folklore studies centres, for example, are culturally distinct. This distinctiveness is not only historical, but is also affected by other factors including language and geography. While he does not aggressively challenge the notion that there exists an all-inclusive Canadian culture, Stuart Adam in his response paper to Feldthusen's views on broadcasting and Canadian culture, does recognize in his essay that one's culture is composed of many elements, including patterns of political and social organization, memories, values, history, and geography. These very real factors likely play a role in the degree to which various elements of American culture can be adopted. However, as mentioned above, such regional differences are only briefly addressed throughout the collection, and certainly not to an extent which would threaten the editors' notion that American culture is a hostile threat to some kind of pan-Canadian culture.

The Sixties: Passion Politics, and Style - review

The Sixties. Passion, Politics, and Style. Ed. Dimitry Anastakis. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2008.

Composed of a series of papers which were originally delivered at a 2003 conference on "The Sixties" that was held at Montreal's McCord Museum, this collection is another in a series of recent publications on that decade which have called for more research on the era and which attempts to identify and expand upon some of the major themes of the time. Including papers on modern art, architecture, race, urban renewal, the feminist movement, the peace/anti-Vietnam War movement, the Quiet Revolution and Quebec's relationship with France, masculinity, youth conformity, and the inclusive/exclusive nature of the Trudeauvian liberal state, the collection covers a wide range of topics, but fails to offer any real theme apart from the decade itself and the notion that it was an era of significant social, artistic, and political change. This attempt at creating a cohesive theme is apparent from the text's rough division into sections of articles dealing with the passion, politics, and style of the decade. In his introduction, the editor, Trent University's Dimitry Anastakis, notes that the 1960s are a ten-year period which is still ripe for potential historical research since it is only now becoming distant enough to escape many researchers' bias of memory. Yet, he also remarks that the decade was one with an ambiguous legacy, a theme which also appears in Brian D. Palmer's Canada's 1960s, in which Palmer claims that the decade was a period in which old identities of the individual and the nation were overturned, but which failed to offer concrete alternatives.

The collection begins with a paper based upon the opening lecture from the conference. As a female English-Quebec journalist in the 1960s, Gretta Chambers offers an overview of the decade as witnessed by someone whose job it was to be familiar with all of the events and public opinions of the province each week for her weekly show on the major stories discussed in the province's city and regional papers. Not an academic history, but a discussion of her impressions of the province and its population during the 1960s, Chambers paper leaves the reader with the understanding that the decade was one of meaningful and profound change in Canada, and especially Quebec, but also that the consequences of those changes were often far from obvious at the time.

The second essay, by Frances Early, examines the anti-Vietnam War protest activities of the Voice of Women (VOW) in the mid-late 1960s. She explains that the organization, founded in 1960 dedicated itself to voicing women's discontent with male dominated and directed cold-war politics and social injustices. VOW undertook an array of peace activities in the decade, broadly defining peace to include all social justice issues. Starting with its anti-nuclear arms campaign in the early 1960s, the organization was also involved in debates over bilingualism and biculturalism, as well as combating racial discrimination in particular Canadian communities. However, while initially fulfilling the role of respectable mother-citizens, the increasingly radical nature of the organization's tactics eventually caused it to loose favour and be viewed with suspicion by many Canadians. These more aggressive tactics included openly criticizing Lester Pearson for accepting nuclear weapons in 1963, and the arrest of Thérèse Casgrain and Kay Macpherson as they attempted to deliver a letter of protest to the secretary general of NATO in Paris in 1963. With this change in the perception of the organization its membership dropped. Yet, with a more militant membership the VOW embarked on a number of protest projects to promote peace and understanding while criticizing the United States' war in Vietnam and the Canadian government's involvement in the US war machine. In keeping with the organization's women-centred reform tradition, Early explains how the VOW established a project to provide front-line eyewitness accounts of the destruction and suffering caused by the war, sending the organization's president into the middle of the conflict to report back to the organization and to Canadians. VOW began a knitting project for providing Vietnamese children with camouflaged warm clothing, a project which attracted a great deal of attention and participation from the United States. Finally, she describes a series of exchanges, hosted in Canada, between Vietnamese and American women, designed to allow for communication between women on both sides of the conflict and to show their shared anti-war sentiments.

In her article "Negotiating Citizenship: Joyce Wieland's Reason over Passion" Kristy Holmes challenges, what she sees as a simple notion, that in producing her Reason over Passion quilts and film in the late 1960s, Joyce Wieland was simply supporting Pierre Trudeau's vision of both Canada and Canadian citizenship. Rather, Holmes claims that the liberal notion of citizenship advanced by Trudeau in his call for a Just Society was an inherently masculine construction, and that Wieland's quilts and film, while supportive of the notion of justice, also pointed out inherent inequalities in those liberal concepts. Holmes claims that the gendered nature of the quilts, and the obviously female perspective of her film, did not allow for their easy adoption as propaganda for Trudeau's cause. Rather, Holmes claims that the works of art pointed to the problems of women fully participating in a society which strove for equality between all people, but which did not take account of the emotional, physical, and social differences and different needs of men and women. Although the Just Society aimed to allow all individuals to participate in Canadian society, Holmes claims that the notion of the individual proposed by the liberal state was inherently masculine, a fact which was recognized by Wieland and influenced her unique means of broadcasting Trudeau's 1968 campaign message.

Gender is also central to Christopher Dummitt's article on men, cars, and risk in post-war Vancouver. As he explains, before, and into, the 1960s police and Vancouver's Traffic and Safety Council understood the good driver to be embodied in the ideal modern man. Car accidents and fatalities were understood to be examples of irrational and poorly thought-out actions. The ideal modern man was not only rational, but was the master of the technology of the time. Given this mind-set, the means of reducing accidents was through public awareness campaigns concerning safe driving techniques. However, Dummitt points out that the 1960s brought new notions about both the place of the car, as well as its role in causing automobile accidents. Acknowledging the contributions of Jane Jacobs in questioning the usefulness and place of the car in modern cities, as well as Ralph Nader's challenge to car companies that it was the cars themselves which were dangerous by design, Dummitt explains that the 1960s saw a challenge to the notion of both the role of the modern man, as well as to the gender associations between the automobile and one's ability to drive it safely.

In his article on drug use in the 1960s Marcel Martel looks at the approaches to the prevention and control adopted by the Ontario and Quebec governments, as well as the government structures through which such prevention and control was studied and promoted. Both Ontario's Addiction Research Foundation ( ARF ), and Quebec’s Office de la prévention et du traitement de l’alcoolisme et des autres toxicomanies ( OPTAT ) adopted a medicalized position concerning drug use. They strove to explain the effects and risks of using various types of drugs in an unbiased and non-judgmental manner. Unlike many politicians and many Canadians, both organizations refused to equate drug use with some kind of moral weakness. Rather, they chose to research and educate the public about the medical effects of using drugs for non-medical reasons. However, as Martel explains, in the case of OPTAT, its position within the Quebec government, as well as the aspirations of that government to increase its influence in the area of health, the organization had limited funding and limited influence. As a government body, unlike ARF, OPTAT had limited access to additional government and non-government funding for its research and awareness campaigns. While advocating its medicalized approach, OPTAT's usefulness was negated by the creation of a federal program which also took a medicalized approach to drug treatment and education. Challenged by the federal government, as well as by police bodies, the pharmaceutical industry, provincial politicians, and even advocated of legalization, who viewed the organization as not being liberal enough, ARF was also defunct by the 1970s. Martel argues that while neither organization was able to win positions of authority within their provincial governments, the medicalized approach they advocated would eventually become the dominant approach to drug education and awareness.

In his "Canada's Foul-Weather Friend" Olivier Courteaux discusses General de Gaulle's 1967 visit to Quebec, and in particular his pronouncement of "Vive le Québec libre!" from the balcony of Montreal city hall. Courteaux explains that de Gaulle 1967 call for liberation was both in keeping with his long-held view of Canada and Quebec, and based upon a misunderstanding of the position of Quebec nationalists in the mid-1960s. In his 1944 visit to Canada de Gaule, while please with Canada's 1943 support of his Comité de la libération nationale, of France having a say in the design of the proposed European peace plan, and that the country should regain its prominence in a post-war Europe, he always viewed Canada as a largely British country which had suppressed its French population. In the mid-late 1960, with France having divested itself of its colonies and allegedly of its position of oppression, de Gaulle was able to pursue a policy of peacefully uniting the French-speaking peoples of the world, and countering English-American international hegemony. Forging close ties with other French-speaking populations, as well as encouraging independence movements which challenged American and English cultural domination were central to this policy. However, while Quebec did establish closer relations with France during the 1960s, and although there did indeed exist a nationalist movement in the province, Courteaux argues that de Gaulle did not understand that French Canada no longer saw itself as a colony of France. Rather, many French-Canadians saw France as having been traditionally uninterested in French-Canada, and they did not recognize French claims of interest in the affairs French-Canada as being genuine. Furthermore, by the 1960s many Quebecers were looking to their own provincial government to be a force for change. They were not particularly interested in forging more than symbolic ties with their former colonial masters. In addition, although a nationalist movement did exist in the province, no Quebec government of the 1960s was willing to do more than use the threat of independence in order to gain concessions from Ottawa.

Although France Vanlaethem argues in her contribution, "The Ambivalence of Architectural Culture in Quebec and Canada, 1955– 1975," that there was a movement in the Canadian architectural community even before the 1960s away from Modernist architecture and to preserve older structures, as Krys Verrall explains, this trend was not apparent in the case of urban housing developments in either Halifax or New York during the 1960s. Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing throughout the 1960s Harlem underwent massive redevelopment. Areas which were deemed to be "urban blight" by city planners were destroyed and rebuilt as new, scientifically engineered public housing developments. These developments, designed, sanctioned, and implemented by overwhelmingly white government officials were supposed to beautify Harlem and create better living conditions for their residents. Yet, as Verrall notes, exactly what constituted an aesthetically pleasing city and what was viewed as acceptable living conditions was largely based upon middle-class white conceptions of reality. Very little public input was sought or made available from the communities which such developments would wrench apart and attempt to resituate in high-rise concrete public housing projects. 

In keeping with the architectural and city planning impetus for urban renewal during the 1960s the New York Museum of Modern Art commissioned four urban planning projects for Harlem in 1967. Designed by four American university architecture departments, the proposals were theoretical urban renewal projects which, like those that were actually being realized in Harlem, depended upon the convergence of various elements of overwhelmingly white middle class professions: government will, architects, urban planners, anti-poverty activists, and developers. These impositions of white notions of the city were reminiscent of a 1965 proposal made by Buckminster Fuller which identified Harlem, an overwhelmingly black/minority community, as requiring urban renewal, was symptomatic of urban administration of the 1960s. Where poor, spatially disorganized communities existed, city planners often attempted to impose changes which would bring order to an observer. However, such order and tidiness was typically only thought of from an external perspective, where as the effect upon those living in the communities was often overlooked. Verrall argues that this oversight shows part of the intersections between the civil rights movement and the avant-garde. Modernist architecture and scientific urban planning fueled the design of the proposed and realized New York housing projects, while living conditions, poverty, and discrimination, and how they were, and were not, being addressed by governments and American society, led to conflict throughout the United States, including in Harlem. It was not that those in what were termed "slum communities" did not want to escape poverty and poor living conditions. However, the labelling of those communities as slums, which were to be cleared and their residents relocated according to the terms of people who were not members of the community, offended Harlem blacks.

The white middle class penchant of the 1960s for large-scale urban renewal projects which imposed ideas of beauty and community redevelopment upon minority populations was also realized in Canada. Verrall explains how the City of Halifax, in conjunction with the federal and provincial governments, realized Prime Minister Pearson's wars on poverty and "ugliness" by appropriating and razing Afericville and relocating its residents into the CMHC designed Uniacke Square development in the city's north end. 

While all of the contributions to the collection mentioned above are relevant to discussions of Canada in the 1960s, their eclectic nature is emphasized by the last essay of the book which discusses the spread of a 1960s California inspired casual style throughout not only North America, but around the world. From cars to clothing to hose design, Nicholas Olsberg explains how the consumer and commuter influence of a post war, prosperous, fashion conscious state affected the spirit of the decade. However, while interesting in tracing the source of various 1960s trends and cultural influences, the paper has little to do with Canada, other than the fact that California-cool influenced Canadians in a similar way to how it influenced Americans.