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History Pre-confederation (to 1867)

Corporate Cataclysm

Abitibi Power & Paper and the Collapse of the Newsprint Industry, 1912-1946

by (author) Barry E.C. Boothman

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2020
Pre-Confederation (to 1867), Manufacturing Industries, Government & Business, Labor & Industrial Relations, Legal History, Corporate & Business History, Bankruptcy & Insolvency
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

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In this absorbing narrative, Barry E.C. Boothman traces the history of Abitibi Power & Paper Limited alongside the rise and fall of the newsprint industry and the advent of Canadian corporate capitalism. In the first half of the twentieth century, Abitibi was Canada’s biggest manufacturer – an apparent success story after the Wall Street crash of 1929 and a company deemed "too big to fail" – but the company eventually ended up at the centre of the longest and most controversial bankruptcy in Canadian history.


Moving from the frontier areas of northern Ontario to the heart of the continental economy, Corporate Cataclysm shows how competitive strategies, industrial organization, corporate finance, and law combined with the empire-building dreams of entrepreneurs and the concerns of politicians to generate an economic disaster. It then chronicles the disputes and intense strife that plagued Abitibi’s fourteen-year receivership.

About the author

Barry E.C. Boothman is a retired professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of New Brunswick.

Barry E.C. Boothman's profile page


  • Winner, 2020-21 Fred Landon Award awarded by the Ontario Historical Society