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ISBN: 9781459400535

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Visionaries, Crusaders, and Firebrands

The Idealistic Canadians Who Built the NDP

As an idealist and a visionary, Jack Layton connected with millions of Canadians who saw that he was a different kind of political leader. So did Tommy Douglas, chosen as the greatest Canadian ever by CBC’s television audience.

The New Democratic Party and its predecessor, the CCF, have often chosen leaders who resonated with the Canadian public. In fact, the vision and the ideals of the leaders of the NDP and the CCF have been key to its strength and appeal. Their commitment to these values in their personal as well as their political lives has earned them admiration and support far beyond the votes they have attracted at election time. Even though these politicians have never succeeded in forming a government in Ottawa, they are seen to stand for values the whole country cherishes.

As a historian, Lynn Gidluck noted that the story of the CCF/NDP has often focused on events, policies, programs, and electoral campaigns. In this book, her emphasis is on the leaders who have defined the party, its vision, and its policies. This tradition of selecting distinguished leaders who share and refine a vision of a better Canada is as important as the policies they have promoted. By focusing on leaders, this book offers fresh insight into the NDP and its appeal to Canadians.


Lynn Gidluck

LYNN GIDLUCK lives in Regina with her husband and three children. She is currently working on a PhD in public policy and history through the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina. She is a former director of the Saskatchewan office of the Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


Positions the NDP party at the time of the books publication soon after Jack Layton’s death. Outlines a bit about how Layton got the NDP in the position it was after the 2011 election. 7 $0.70


Examines the roots of the NDP party. Looks at J.D. Woodsworth and William Irvine’s role in the political landscape of their time. Specifically analyzes the Agrarian Revolt, early … 32 $3.20


The formation of a new political party in 1932 tentatively called the Commonwealth Party, outlines who was involved in this very short meeting. Analyzes the birth of the CCF, the Regina Manifesto 34 $3.40


Looks at the CCF’s first national convention in Regina in 1933. A very thorough look at this convention 39 $3.90


Reactions from outside the CCF circles to the Regina Manifesto and the written policy of the party. Looks at the lack of money and organization that the party faced but highlights reform measures … 33 $3.30


Looks at division amoung the CCF as to Canada’s partitipation in WWII, looks at different leadership of the CCF and goes through the reforming for the party as the NDP 33 $3.30


Looks at the NDP from the 1980s to Layton’s death in 2011 and some of the leaders during that time. Provides an anlysis of those condidates who may have taken over the NDP leadership 42 $4.20