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Business & Economics Automobile Industry

Autonomous State

The Struggle for a Canadian Car Industry from OPEC to Free Trade

by (author) Dimitry Anastakis

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2013
Automobile Industry, 20th Century, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2013
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2013
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  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2013
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Autonomous State provides the first detailed examination of the Canadian auto industry, the country’s most important economic sector, in the post-war period. In this engrossing book, Dimitry Anastakis chronicles the industry’s evolution from the 1973 OPEC embargo to the 1989 Canada–US Free Trade Agreement and looks at its effects on public policy, diplomacy, business enterprise, workers, consumers, and firms.

Using an immense array of archival sources, and interviews with some of the key actors in the events, Anastakis examines a fascinating array of topics in recent auto industry and Canadian business and economic history: the impact of new safety, emissions, and fuel economy regulations on the Canadian sector and consumers, the first Chrysler bailout of 1980, the curious life and death of the 1965 Canada-US auto pact, the ‘invasion’ of Japanese imports and transplant operations, and the end of aggressive auto policy-making with the coming of free trade.

More than just an examination of the auto industry, the book provides a rethinking of Canada’s tumultuous post-OPEC political and economic evolution, helping to explain the current tribulations of the global auto sector and Canada’s place within it.

About the author

Dimitry Anastakis teaches history at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. A scholar of postwar Canada, his primary research examines Canada's role in the North American auto industry. He is the author of Auto Pact: Creating a Borderless North American Auto Industry, 1960-1971 (University of Toronto Press, 2005) and edited The Sixties: Passion, Politics and Style (McGill-Queens University Press, 2008. His work has appeared in various academic journals and magazines such as The Walrus.

Dimitry Anastakis' profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘Deeply researched and lucidly argued by a historian in command of his field, Autonomous State is a valuable addition to automotive history and a distinguished contribution to policy history.’

Canadian Historical Review vol 95:03:2014

‘There is much to like about this work. It is a solid piece of academic research. It reaches beyond mere facts of how the industry evolved undermanaged trade…and how the Auto Pact paved the way for the 1989 Free Trade agreement.’

Enterprise and Society, vol 14:04:2013

‘This is a well-researched book, with substantial archival research having been conducted in Canada and United States… There is plenty to be learned by political scientists interested in international relations, public policy, and political economy (both nationally and internationally).’

American Historical Review vol 119:02:2014

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