Radical Ambition
The New Left in Toronto

Graham, Peter; McKay, Ian
Publisher:  Between the Lines, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  2019
Pages:  566pp   ISBN:  978-1-77113-423-1
Library of Congress Number:  HN110.T6G734 2019   Dewey:  320.5309713'541
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX23656

The story of Toronto's New Left from its initial stirrings in the late 1950s to its 'long, ambiguous goodbye in the early 1980s.


Publisher's Description:

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.

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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