Between the Lines

Between the Lines

40 years of books without bosses, 1977-2017

Radical Ambition

The New Left in Toronto

By Peter Graham and Ian McKay  

Radical Ambition
  • Paperback / softback

Writing for Maclean’s magazine in 1965, Peter Gzowski saw something different about the new generation of the left. They were not the agrarian radicals of old. They did not meet in union halls. Nor were they like the Beatniks that Gzowski had rubbed shoulders with in college. “The radicals of the New Left, the young men and women … differ from their predecessors not only in the degree of their protest but in its kind. They are a new breed.”

Members of the new left–this new breed of radicals–placed the ideals of self-determination and community at the core of their politics. As with all leftists, they sought to transcend capitalism. But in contrast to older formations, new leftists emphasized solidarity with national liberation movements challenging imperialism around the world. They took up organizational forms that anticipated – “prefigured,” some said – in their direct, grassroots, community-based democracy, the liberated world of the future.

Radical Ambition is the first book to explore the history of this dynamic movement and reveal the substantial social changes it won for the people of Toronto.

  • Paperback / softback, 515 pages
  • ISBN 9781771134231
  • Published May 2019

Table of Contents

1 Toronto: Capital of Capitalist Modernity
2 A Slow, Cautious Hello: First Stirrings of a Movement, 1958–64
3 A Movement Emerges, 1965–67
4 Out of the Meat Grinder: Confronting the Educational Leviathan, 1968–71
5 Bringing the Revolution Home: Black Power, Feminism, and Turning the Local into the Global, 1968–71
6 Obsolete Communism and Conflicting Visions? Wafflers, Liberals, and New Leninists, 1968–71
7 “We Must All Be Politicians”: Urban Resistance and the Turn to Community, 1971–78
8 Without Walls – No Ceiling: A Cultural Revolution, 1971–78
9 Subaltern Identities, Universal Truths, Transnational Complexities: The Rise of Identity Based Resistance, 1971–78
10 New Leninists and New Constellations: In Quest of the Revolutionary Party, 1971–82
11 A Long, Ambiguous Goodbye, 1982–85
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