This comprehensive history of the left in British Columbia from the late nineteenth century to the present explores the successes and failures of individuals and organisations striving to make a better world. Nineteenth-century coal miners and carpenters; Wobblies, Single Taxers, and communists; worker militancy in two world wars; the New Democratic Party; the Squamish Five; the Solidarity movement of 1983; and the Occupy movement of 2011 are all part of an historical provincial left that is table for its breadth and dynamism. Moreover, the political and union initiatives of the traditional left are seen in conjunction with broader movements, including the struggles for women's suffrage and equality, human rights, Canadian nationalist visions, racial equality, and environmental health. Ginger Goodwin and Dave Barrett (as well as WAC Bennett and Gordon Campbell) are present, as are reformist liberals and green activists. Drawing on extensive published scholarship and primary newspaper sources, Dr Hak's thorough examination of the British Columbia experience offers an historical context for understanding the contemporary left and a framework for considering future alternatives.
Gordon Hak has published two books on the history of the forest industry. Unions and left-wing politics were important in these studies, and expanding the focus resulted in The Left in British Columbia. Gordon has taught for many years at Vancouver Island University, formerly Malaspina University-College, in Nanaimo. He lives with his wife Joanne in Victoria.