In the critical decades following the First World War, the Canadian political landscape was shifting in ways that significantly recast the relationship between big business and government. As public pressures changed the priorities of Canada’s political parties, many of Canada’s most powerful businessmen struggled to come to terms with a changing world that was less sympathetic to their ideas and interests than before. Dominion of Capital offers a new account of relations between government and business in Canada during a period of transition between the established expectations of the National Policy and the uncertain future of the twentieth century.
Don Nerbas tells this fascinating story through close portraits of influential business and political figures of this period – including Howard P. Robinson, Charles Dunning, Sir Edward Beatty, R.S. McLaughlin, and C.D. Howe – that provide insight into how events in different sectors of the economy and regions of the country shaped the political outlook and strategies of the country’s business elite. Drawing on business, political, social, and cultural history, Nerbas revises standard accounts of government-business relations in this period and sheds new light on the challenges facing big business in early twentieth-century Canada.
‘Don Nerbas has produced a lively work capable of appealing to undergraduates and the general public.’
‘This book will appeal to a wide range of scholars and students of history, political science, and business offering them a fresh perspective of historical developments that shaped an evolving relationship between capitalists and government during the twentieth century.’
‘Nerbas’ volume is an important, thought-provoking contribution to our understanding of Canadian economic and business history in a neglected field of study.’
‘This important contribution will be read with great profit by those both in and outside of Canada…The aims and goal here are laudable, the Dominion of Capital makes a great contribution to telling the story of the emergence of Canada’s more continental (branch plants and American investment) and mixed (with nationalized railways, for example) economy by the 1950s.’