Book review: Magnificent Fight

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Magnificent Fight by Dennis Lweycky Fernwood Publishing 2019

By: Barry Weisleder

Though not beautifully written, this is a serviceable summary of an iconic struggle that shaped the workers’ movement in western Canada and beyond. Published in the centenary year of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, it is a timely reminder of the background to the epic struggle that showed the potential for workers’ control and a new society. Abysmal social conditions, flagrant inequality, and outrage that the War to End All Wars benefited big business rather than the surviving soldiers, fuelled the strike for union recognition, shorter work time, and better wages.

Ironically, while the author documents the brazen class bias and infernal practices of the bourgeois state, he argues for reliance on that very state, and to making reforms within it, to radically change society – a perspective with which the professors of the Socialist Project would be quite comfortable.