The history of British Columbia’s economy in the twentieth century is inextricably bound to the development of the forest industry. In this comprehensive study, Gordon Hak approaches the forest industry from the perspectives of workers and employers, examining the two institutions that structured the relationship during the Fordist era: the companies and the unions. He relates daily routines of production and profit-making to broader forces of unionism, business ideology, ecological protest, technological change, and corporate concentration. The struggle of the small-business sector to survive in the face of corporate growth, the history of the industry on the Coast and in the Interior, the transformations in capital-labour relations during the period, government forest policy, and the forest industry’s encounter with the emerging environmental movement are all considered in this eloquent analysis.
About the author
Gordon Hak has published two books on the history of the forest industry. Unions and left-wing politics were important in these studies, and expanding the focus resulted in The Left in British Columbia. Gordon has taught for many years at Vancouver Island University, formerly Malaspina University-College, in Nanaimo. He lives with his wife Joanne in Victoria.
- Long-listed, George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in BC Writing and Publishing
This is a very well-written book that makes important scholarly contributions to a number of disciplines … It uses a rich variety of sources and methods to combine economic history with cultural, political, labour, and social history in ways that will challenge and inspire all BC and Canadian historians.
Mark Leier, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Labour Studies at Simon Fraser University